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RE: 29 August – 4 September 1941: If not here, where? (turn 11)

 
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RE: 29 August – 4 September 1941: If not here, where? (... - 12/17/2013 2:16:03 PM   
jwolf

 

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Nice update, especially the great pictures you have a knack for finding.  That milkmaid partisan looks pretty tough!  Does the plane say "death to the German occupiers?"

Did your partisans actually cut the supply line for AGC, or was that just a side link?  This does sound very early for a partisan hit.

In spite of the reduced logistics, SigUp has done very well and your last map looks ominous.  Good luck with your defense!

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 31
RE: 29 August – 4 September 1941: If not here, where? (... - 12/17/2013 6:34:13 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Nice update, especially the great pictures you have a knack for finding.  That milkmaid partisan looks pretty tough!  Does the plane say "death to the German occupiers?"

Did your partisans actually cut the supply line for AGC, or was that just a side link?  This does sound very early for a partisan hit.

In spite of the reduced logistics, SigUp has done very well and your last map looks ominous.  Good luck with your defense!



Pretty good translation, you'd transliterate the cyrillic as Smert nemetskim okkupantam so yes, occupiers rather than invaders. Little known bit of utter trivia is Ian Fleming, in James Bond books, not the films, made the 'fictional' Soviet opposition - SMERSH. Which was the real life NKVD unit set up in late 1941 to track down German spies, the full name was Smert' Shpionam - death to spies.

That was his main (only) line. At this stage of the war if you can get the partisans up and running and get in a lucky hit you can really do damage. Later on its a bit less important though a lucky strike can disrupt rail movement at a critical point. This is the earliest I've managed, but I've basically got all the IL-4s and U2s on night missions and am dumping a lot of supply back there (at the moment, supply is not my problem, its manpower to use it).

If you can read Russian, there are a lot of sites with excellent photographic resources - mostly you just need enough to run the search and to transliterate. I suppose I'm running a risk with GCHQ these days but that is one of the sacrifices needed ... I do like the cow one, I've used it before. If we get far enough into the narrative, I've got a few of Soviet traffic police that I like to use as well - I reckon with them directing movements you'd be very careful where you parked your T-34.

He is indeed. I keep on looking at the other AARs that are more or less up to the same point with a lot of jealousy. From email chat, I think he's too strung out now in the Ukraine, but then for both of us that is now a sideshow. What he has been doing very well, is being disciplined about allowing his motorised units to recover and then lashing out in an army sized encirclement. As in my comments, you see the success of this in my POW count. Something like 60% of my August losses were POWs and that is steadily pruning my armed forces. I can't blame the 95% morale I agreed to (not least I suggested it), but it is having some impact on my flow of units from shell, to a useable 42-44 morale rifle division. I have some under 30 on quiet sectors.

Where I think this may cost him is that I have lost very few APs or Trucks and am even starting to pull out Heavy Industry now. But my reward for that diligence lies at the far end of 1942 and I've got to survive till that stage yet.

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Post #: 32
RE: 29 August – 4 September 1941: If not here, where? (... - 12/20/2013 8:34:13 AM   
Powloon

 

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Hi Loki,

Hope you are well? Great AAR as always and an interesting game position! I can see why you would want a turn of mud. Any sign of where the 4th Panzer Group has gone after the fall of Lenningrad? It would be quite telling where his main axis of attack will be for the remainder of 41 although looking at the map its pretty safe to assume he has Moscow in his sites. Is there any chance of posting a map with the fort levels around moscow?

Do you know where his rail line is in the South? Just wondered if you had a spare cavalry unit or two you could potentially amphibiously land at Oohakov near Odessa assuming it is ungarrisoned which might increase your opponents paranoia

Good luck with the game definately adding this one to read with my morning coffee.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 33
RE: 29 August – 4 September 1941: If not here, where? (... - 12/20/2013 4:21:12 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Powloon

Hi Loki,

Hope you are well? Great AAR as always and an interesting game position! I can see why you would want a turn of mud. Any sign of where the 4th Panzer Group has gone after the fall of Lenningrad? It would be quite telling where his main axis of attack will be for the remainder of 41 although looking at the map its pretty safe to assume he has Moscow in his sites. Is there any chance of posting a map with the fort levels around moscow?

Do you know where his rail line is in the South? Just wondered if you had a spare cavalry unit or two you could potentially amphibiously land at Oohakov near Odessa assuming it is ungarrisoned which might increase your opponents paranoia

Good luck with the game definately adding this one to read with my morning coffee.



good to hear from you ... hopefully I've learnt something from handing you the keys to Moscow on turn #8

I've lost the AGN armour but I think they are around Smolensk (there is a mass of unidentified counters and HQs there), also one of the AGC Pzr Grps has disengaged this turn so I think SigUp is either going to go NE and get in behind Rzhev or, more likely reinforce the Pzr Grp that is pushing for Tula

In the south his rails are still west of Kiev (I don't think there is a southern branch), in the centre past Smolensk (but I've just blown up a load so that may not be working)

We've agreed no early war naval invasions, which is a real pity as last turn I could have taken a division across the Sea of Azov and really made a mess of his rear lines on the Mius. It was sooooo tempting. Here's my forts (well for turn 12) at Moscow. I'm happy enough if he goes in through the lines of Reserve Front but the flank defences are still really just filling in. But there is a weak line that possibly disrupts my Rzhev defenses, though I suspect its a bit out of the obvious route and may give me a number of counterattack options.






Attachment (1)

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Post #: 34
RE: 29 August – 4 September 1941: If not here, where? (... - 12/20/2013 4:22:18 PM   
Stuyvesant

 

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Damnation. I could've sworn I had put together my usual combination of poor smirking observations and clueless questions and posted the reply, but I must've forgotten to hit the 'Post' button. Shame, as I was preparing a nice zinger about the partisan cow and her herder before jwolf stole my thunder (something along the lines of the milking of the cow being a Scorched Earth policy taken to extremes).

Anyway, I wholeheartedly concur that you manage to find some very quirky pictures to enliven your AARs. And I thought I could decipher 'Smert' and something that looked like 'occupiers' on the plane, but you've already addressed that as well.

So, what remains is to express my concern about the proximity of the Nazi Hun Hitlerite invader to the capital of the Proletarian Paradise - things are looking quite grim right now.

And a question, since I don't understand this game: what determines where someone's railhead is? Does it have to end in a (sizeable) city or some other landmark? It appears to be more complicated than simply the closest spur of railroad line that can trace back to... somewhere (the edge of the map? Designated supply points on the map?). Seems pretty critical for the logistical side of the game, so I thought I'd ask to find out how that works.

(in reply to Powloon)
Post #: 35
RE: 29 August – 4 September 1941: If not here, where? (... - 12/20/2013 5:12:09 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Stuyvesant

Damnation. I could've sworn I had put together my usual combination of poor smirking observations and clueless questions and posted the reply, but I must've forgotten to hit the 'Post' button. Shame, as I was preparing a nice zinger about the partisan cow and her herder before jwolf stole my thunder (something along the lines of the milking of the cow being a Scorched Earth policy taken to extremes).

Anyway, I wholeheartedly concur that you manage to find some very quirky pictures to enliven your AARs. And I thought I could decipher 'Smert' and something that looked like 'occupiers' on the plane, but you've already addressed that as well.

So, what remains is to express my concern about the proximity of the Nazi Hun Hitlerite invader to the capital of the Proletarian Paradise - things are looking quite grim right now.

And a question, since I don't understand this game: what determines where someone's railhead is? Does it have to end in a (sizeable) city or some other landmark? It appears to be more complicated than simply the closest spur of railroad line that can trace back to... somewhere (the edge of the map? Designated supply points on the map?). Seems pretty critical for the logistical side of the game, so I thought I'd ask to find out how that works.


I've managed that a few times, think I once wrote a long and (alledgedly) erudite response to a Prawnstar AAR (dunno why as I've never really understood EU3) and it went awol

For the moment this is all about Moscow, we can seek advantage for later on the flanks but the first phase of the war (ie up the autumn rains) is now all about this aspect of the battle. I fear, as above, the AGN Pzrs are in the sector and I'm going to have 3 Pzr Grps trying to get around my south flank. I'm not really sure what I can do - any mistakes are too late to unpick so its a case of stick with what I have.

That is basically, despite all my losses a well dug in defense line on the direct route and I've shuffled in most of my few good divisions (there are some over 50 morale by design and they are in those forts). Around Tula its simply pure depth, alleviated by strong points. So SigUp will make progress but I'm hoping it is slow.

Where I am not sure is who gains the most if the front lines get very stretched. I don't have a lot of hitting power, but I do have a lot of high mobility units (most of the cavalry have over 15 MPs as they have been resting and decent morale). So the scope for a raid into an exposed rear is very much feasible.

Supply in this game is a wierd mixture of something that should be on the Hogwarts syllabus, something that is wide open for abuse (if you want to study that syllabus) and something that seems to work quite well by common sense and without too much player interaction).

Both sides have 2 types of rail repair units. One is a generic type that lives (best) with high up HQs and the AI detaches to need. They tend to be pretty literal minded (ie they start close to your railnet and move very methodlcally). The second (I get these in 1942) is under your control and for the Germans in 1941 are key to constructing a supply line to each of the main Army Groups. Your distance to where-ever that is (west of Kiev, east of Smolensk, almost at Leningrad) determines supply to your front line units. Too far and they suffer morale losses and generally slow down - which I think is what has stalled SigUp around Stalino.

You can move supply up by airdrops (once upon a time using your bombers) or by a trick that is meant to reflect prioritising a particular Corps (german)/Army (Soviet).

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Post #: 36
5 – 12 September – If not Now, When? (Turn 12) - 12/21/2013 10:21:23 PM   
loki100


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As German pressure intensified, the nature of the Soviet propaganda shifted. No longer was the focus just on Stalin or the Communist Party, increasingly the struggle was presented as a patriotic war for Russia, with the heros of the past enlisted in the current struggle.


(invokes the names of Alexander Nevsky, Dimitry Donskoi, Kuzma Minin, Dmitry Pozharsky, Alexander Suvorov, Michael Kutuzov)

The second week in September saw German pressure across the front. In the north, elements of Army Group North forced the Msta line but overall their gains here, and in the Valdai were limited. Slowly both the Leningrad and NW Fronts were pushed back from Lake Ilmen but were able to absorb the opening blows.



In the Ukraine, German troops moved towards Kharkov and cleared the east bank of the Mius. However, in doing so they left themselves badly overextended and elements of 37 Army were able to cut deep into their communications and drive a German mountain division back in complete panic.



However, it was at Moscow that the main fighting took place. The Soviet units at Vyazma were destroyed and another 120,000 prisoners taken. Around Rzhev, the German infantry renewed their offensive making limited gains in vicious battles but this time they managed to fend off a major counterattack by 21 Army.

The expected offensive broke to the south of the Oka but no where were the Germans able to force a crossing. Perhaps mindful of their flanks, the Germans were relatively conservative and were finally stopped some 50km west of Tula. However, Soviet recon identified that the Panzer Group that had been in action at Vyazma had been pulled out of the line and identified fresh formations just east of Smolensk.



Again, the Luftwaffe prioritised attacks on the VVS rather than operations in support of their army. The result was another round of brutal air combat ending with 496 Soviet and 87 Axis planes lost. In an attempt to stem the losses, Stavka authorised a series of night attacks on the German airbases and ordered Soviet fighters to adopt new combat tactics.




(even the modern Yak1s were unable to cope with the intensity of German pressure but it was still possible to replace the gaping holes torn in the front line squadrons)

Equally, partisan operations were stepped up. Specialist NKVD squads were sent to reinforce the partisans north west of Vitebsk and the result was the destruction of almost 50km of tracks and bridges.




(Partisan brigade on its way to interdict German communications north of Vitebsk)

Overall, there was little that could be done at Moscow. Reinforcements were allocated to Reserve and West Fronts and fall back lines were prepared. It appeared as if the Germans had two Panzer Groups in reserve and till these were committed, the current defensive positions had to be held.



Soviet manpower reserves were now around 150,000 but more worrying was the lack of means to equip them. Overall AP were just over 200,000 and the Soviet armoured forces were down to 3,300 machines. To make this worse, there were no available replacements for the steady attrition.



The remaining Soviet industrial base was working to capacity. However, with so much being evacuated from the central industrial regions to the Urals it was inevitable that production would be badly disrupted.



Overall the Soviet armed forces still had 4.6 million and of these 1.2 million were in the 3 fronts directly involved in the battle for Moscow. NW and Leningrad fronts had 900,000 under arms and the 3 Ukrainian Fronts had 1.2 million. Another 200,000 were guarding the southern Caucasus and roughly 600,000 were in various formations forming up in the deep rear.

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Post #: 37
RE: 5 – 12 September – If not Now, When? (Turn 12) - 12/27/2013 2:10:45 AM   
Stuyvesant

 

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Grim stuff. The German penetration towards Tula looks ominous, although equally it might leave their spearheads vulnerable to a counterattack. The scariest thing (to me) is that the Germans seem able to launch offensives from multiple locations, and they have reserves at hand, and it's still only early September. It's promising to be a long, long autumn...

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 38
RE: 5 – 12 September – If not Now, When? (Turn 12) - 12/31/2013 7:50:29 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Stuyvesant

Grim stuff. The German penetration towards Tula looks ominous, although equally it might leave their spearheads vulnerable to a counterattack. The scariest thing (to me) is that the Germans seem able to launch offensives from multiple locations, and they have reserves at hand, and it's still only early September. It's promising to be a long, long autumn...


I think SigUp needs to decide soon what he can do with the balance of 1941. Realise its only early September but we are due 3 turns of mud (2 fixed), snow and then my chance to counterattack in December. So he has about 5-6 turns where he can do as he wishes.

At the moment the Tula drive is not too worrying. There is a cats cradle of low value units down there and a lot of well rested cavalry so a single Pzr Army (which is what I think I am facing) is going to get pinned, either in my defenses or needing to guard its flanks (one Pzr div is already broken down).

There is another Pzr Army around Vyazma and I've lost sight of the AGN armour. So he can commit the second Pzr Army from AGC in support of the Tula drive, that will give him that city (plus Orel by default) and expose the south flank of Moscow - but I think 5 turns is too little for that to be a major threat.

His alternative I guess is to use the AGN armour + the AGC reserve and clean me out of Rzhev and develop a northern hook. That will have the secondary advantage of bouncing me from the Valdai. My feeling is that is an essentially tactical operation designed to grab good defense terrain for the winter and a launch pad for 1942.

My partisan stunts will be a factor. I think I've just wrecked his main supply line so it will be harder to build up supply with the Panzers for a deep incursion.

So all in the air - I think my partisans have just saved Moscow for 41 but I am as much worried about the risks in 1942 given that the new winter rules are much more realistic.

I also need to start building up for the counteroffensive - that may mean weakening the front lines a bit as I rest and refit key formations (I have a few Siberian rifle divisions with very high morale and ideally these need to be gathered into a key shock army)

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Post #: 39
RE: 29 August – 4 September 1941: If not here, where? (... - 1/2/2014 3:45:22 AM   
topeverest


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Loki,

Is the view shown in your pictures only available if you have one or more of the expansion games, or are there settings I can play with?
quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100










< Message edited by topeverest -- 1/2/2014 4:45:45 AM >


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Andy M

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Post #: 40
RE: 29 August – 4 September 1941: If not here, where? (... - 1/2/2014 7:46:41 AM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: topeverest

Loki,

Is the view shown in your pictures only available if you have one or more of the expansion games, or are there settings I can play with?


Hi

they are in the base game, I make a lot of use of the mapview that shows the relative division of territory (so above if it is pale green its mine) and the fort levels. Sometimes I find it handy to hide the counters (this is the left hand button on the mapview option), partly due to how I am showing things here but again it can help to see something more clearly.

As far as I know, the basic .exe is the same in each of the three releases, all that the later two do is to add a mass of scenarios (most of which are very well worth playing)

I do use a mapmod but not the counter mod (too pastel for my eyes to see easily)

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Post #: 41
11 – 17 September: If not me, who? (turn 13) - 1/3/2014 10:02:59 AM   
loki100


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In the Ukraine the Germans renewed their offensive at Kharkov, Infantry formations pushed to the Donets to the north of the city while motorised and panzer divisions tried to complete a pocket to the south.



Soviet reconnaisance flights indicated at least 2 Panzer Corps pulled back into reserve to the south, presumably able to threaten Rostov or to complete the destruction of the forces at Kharkov.

Faced with a need for as many units as possible at Moscow, Stavka, reluctantly ordered a retreat with rearguard units left to delay the German advance. SW Front in particular was being stripped of its few remaining reserves to throw into the crisis at Moscow.

To the south, the Germans completed their occupation of Stalino and pressed towards Rostov. N Caucasus Front contined to launch spoiling attacks against the Rumanian units on their flanks but lacked the capacity to do any real damage.

Any optimism about holding the Germans west of Moscow had been shattered in a few days. It appeared that the Panzers committed on the Tula offensive were withdrawn and 3 Panzer Groups committed to an attack behind Rzhev.



Reserve Front's northern wing was severed from NW Front and German spearheads rested on the My Canal and were no more than 15 km from the northern suburbs of Moscow. The equivalent of 2 armies (all of 29 and most of 22) were encircled at Rzhev.

In desperation, Stavka released 30A from reserve and it managed to open up a line of supply to Rzhev while 33 Army managed to drive in advanced elements of XX Corps.



Facing a major crisis, Stavka opted to order Leningrad and NW Fronts to hold their current positions on the Msta and in the Valdai.



Around Moscow fresh formations were activated. 23 Army was given control of the defense of the city itself and 55 Army was created using freshly arrived Siberian divisions and local militia in an attempt to seal off any further advance to the East.


(workers militia thrown into the fighting NW of Moscow)



Beyond that, it was decided to try and hold the current lines to the west of the city. 20 Army was the only reserve formation available but falling back would simply bring AGC's infantry formations up to the city itself.

In desperate counterattacks, and trying to hold the German offensive, Soviet tank losses escalated. 516 were destroyed (compared to 140 German) as the last of the flawed KV-2s were thrown into the battle:


(KV2 destroyed at Povarovo)

Of the remaining 2500 tanks, the majority were T-26s


(T-26-1)

Production was badly disrupted by the ongoing migration of factories to the Urals and the heavy combat losses.

Equally around Moscow, the war in the air continued with heavy Soviet losses. 540 planes were lost (compared to 129 for the invaders) but it was still possible to replace them with fresh aircraft and squadrons brought out of training. Front line air strength remained at over 5000 planes.

Overall the Soviet armed forces still had 4.6 million under arms despite recent losses.



South of Moscow (Bryansk, SW, South, N Cauc) 1.5 million men tried to cover a line from Orel to Rostov. Apart from on the Kursk-Orel sector this was wafer thin with no effective reserves.

At Moscow, Reserve, West and Moscow Fronts deployed some 1.4 million and to their north (NW, Leningrad) were another 1 million men. In addition almost 500,000 were in reserve units deep in the rear. Bringing these units up to combat readiness was straining Soviet industry and the bulk would not be ready until later in October.

Faced with the crisis north of Moscow and the emerging disaster in the Ukraine there seemed little that could be done but seek local advantages, pinch at Axis supply lines and hope for some respite. One source of hope was that at Moscow the German army was fully engaged and probably had no more substantial reserves.

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RE: 11 – 17 September: If not me, who? (turn 13) - 1/6/2014 3:06:52 PM   
Stuyvesant

 

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Oh my. The Germans are moving in force. You managed to push them back in two spots near Moscow (three, perhaps? It looks like the first overview map shows the Germans one hex closer to Moscow proper on their northern pincer than on the last overview map), but the amount of force required to dislodge a single Panzer division is stunning: six divisions. I just can't see you concentrate enough forces in enough places to significantly dislodge the Germans. Now, whether your foe can clear the last few hexes to Moscow is another matter, but the situation certainly looks dire.

Not to mention that you've essentially given the Germans free reign in the Ukraine (hey! That rhymes!), weather, supply and roadblock units permitting. I assume they won't be able to do a mirrored Schlieffen and roll up your Moscow position all the way from the Ukraine, but in the longer term those invaders roaming free can only add to your headaches.

Let's hope for mud, snow and ice! And perhaps some nice Siberian divisions? Lots of them, preferably.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 43
RE: 11 – 17 September: If not me, who? (turn 13) - 1/9/2014 9:50:58 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Stuyvesant

Oh my. The Germans are moving in force. You managed to push them back in two spots near Moscow (three, perhaps? It looks like the first overview map shows the Germans one hex closer to Moscow proper on their northern pincer than on the last overview map), but the amount of force required to dislodge a single Panzer division is stunning: six divisions. I just can't see you concentrate enough forces in enough places to significantly dislodge the Germans. Now, whether your foe can clear the last few hexes to Moscow is another matter, but the situation certainly looks dire.

Not to mention that you've essentially given the Germans free reign in the Ukraine (hey! That rhymes!), weather, supply and roadblock units permitting. I assume they won't be able to do a mirrored Schlieffen and roll up your Moscow position all the way from the Ukraine, but in the longer term those invaders roaming free can only add to your headaches.

Let's hope for mud, snow and ice! And perhaps some nice Siberian divisions? Lots of them, preferably.



Aye, that was a bit of an 'oh-****' turn, I think I opened it and then closed it immediately in the hope it wasn't that bad. Fortunately after all that experience playing Narwhal I'm well used to disaster.

My gamble up to now was that I was going to evacuate the Moscow factories over winter. Several reasons for this - one is it staggers the period when I have stuff out of operation and secondly at that stage you usually have more spare rail capacity (a challenge in the summer-autumn is to balance factory evac with bring up new units from the Urals as well as strategic redeployments of the main armies). I expected SigUp to reach Moscow but as long as he doesn't take the hexes all I need to do is to push him back and I can save them.

With the next turn, I'm a bit less panicky, though not happy. My feeling is that his entire centre and north is committed and strung out, so he has a hard choice between bouncing me out the Valdai or going for Moscow. My guess is the Panzers will hit north and he'll try to close to Moscow with the infantry as he has some long exposed flanks. But he could gamble on Moscow alone.

I'm now not sure about that elusive mud turn. It might have happened very early (turns 3/4) when the Moscow sector was not really in play - bad luck if so. I can't face going back over the saves and I'm not sure as I've been over the ground a few times vs the AI and once in the 1941 Barbarossa scenario PBEM (& after a while some things rather blur).

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Post #: 44
18 – 24 September: Great streets of silence led away (t... - 1/9/2014 11:14:13 AM   
loki100


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Compared to the dramatic shifts of the previous week, this period saw only limited gains for the Germans across most of the front. However, lack of progress was not the same as a drop in the intensity of the fighting. 35,000 Axis and 75,000 Soviet soldiers lost their lives. From the start of the German invasion permanent losses (KIA and disabled) had reached 370,000 Axis and 750,000 Soviet but in addition over 1.3m Soviet troops had been captured [1].

Amidst the gloom, one small item of good news was that for the first time tank losses were equal. 120 Soviet and 110 Axis AFVs were lost.

Partisan War

Compared to the previous week this flared into life again with a series of successful attacks. The axis rail west of Pskov was blown and the highly successful partisan groups in the Vitebsk region carried out substantial sabotage to the south of the city wrecking the recent German repairs as they tried to push the rail-lines down towards Gomel [2]



Finally the first attacks took place in the SW Ukraine. Again the target was a secondary line the Germans were constructed to supply their forces in the Dombas.



Air War

The intensity of this dropped as the Luftwaffe broke off from their constant raids on the VVS bases in the Moscow region. However, this week still saw 411 Soviet and 107 Axis planes destroyed but Soviet front line air strength increased to 4,200 of which 2,200 were around Moscow and 1,000 with Leningrad and NW Fronts.

Front Reports



Soviet manpower in the field remained much the same at 4.6m with this split 1m in NW and Leningrad Fronts, 1.4m at Moscow (West, Reserve and Moscow Fronts), 900,000 in Bryanks and SW Fronts and 700,000 in the south of the Ukraine (South and N Cauc Fronts). In addition 200,000 remained in the south Caucasus and 400,000 in Stavka reserve formations (few of which were combat ready).

Leningrad and NW Fronts



This sector saw little combat in this period apart from in the south around Lukovnikovo where the Germans deepened their encirclement at Rzhev. The main decision was whether to try and hold the Valdai or fall back to a line on the upper Tveritsa anchored on Kalinin-Torshok-Vyshny Volochek.

In the end Stavka ordered a limited redeployment of 11 and 31 Armies to provide more depth and for the remnants of 22 Army to secure Kalinin. It was felt that falling back would simply release more German formations for the Moscow battles and that the main threat at the moment would be the Panzers located at Staritsa identified as 56 Pzr (1 and 6 Pzr Divs and an SS Mot Div) and 39 Pzr on the south bank of the Lama (2, 5 Pzr and 14 Mot). As such the scope for a massive encirclement was limited.

In the meantime 55 Army was developing its defensive lines on the Moscow-Volga canal and drove back 18 Motorised. Soviet intelligence indicated there were 3 Panzer and 3 Motorised divisions in the area between the canal and the Lama but they would struggle to concentrate for a breakout with their flanks currently under pressure by various Soviet formations.


(55 Army and some of the few KV1s left in action on the Moscow-Volga canal)

Moscow (Reserve, Moscow, West Fronts)



Apart from German actions designed to deepen the Rzhev encirclement, this sector had seen little combat. To the south of the Oka the Germans were making some attacks but had yet to breach the Ula. Of worry was that the Panzer Group that had led the initial attack in this sector had been pulled into reserve.

Depending on the actions of the Panzers north of Moscow, Stavka's assumption was that any direct assault towards Moscow would be led by the infantry formations of AGC and as such would make slow progress through the multiple Soviet defense lines.

With the threat of a deep encirclement behind Moscow, 48 Army was digging in along the Klyazma and was being built up using fresh reserves and units that had been mauled in the earlier battles.


(With Moscow at risk, Stavka was falling back on all possible resources including the armoured trains that had been so valuable in the Civil War)

Orel-Kharkov (Bryansk and SW Fronts)



This area had seen little fighting except in the south where the Kharkov pocket was deepened and the loss of Belgorod. 5 Army launched a counterattack on an overextended German cavalry division north of Kursk which helped ensure Soviet control of the northern approach to the city.

The worry was that Soviet intelligence reports indicated a build up south of Bryansk and it was assumed this was the Panzer Group that had been in action on the Tula axis. Obvious targets were Orel and Kursk.

Bryansk Front had reasonable troop density and was deployed in echelon (especially in the north) but the once mighty SW Front was but a shadow of its former importance [3] with its 'reserve' (6 Army) consisting of only 2 understrength cavalry divisions. All that could be done was to seek to delay any attacks and hope to avoid further encirclements.

Donets region (South and N Caucasus Fronts



The situation to the south was not much better. With the loss of Stalino and Kharkov, it was assumed the Germans would try to reach the Aidar and the Donets and capture Rostov. It appeared as it there were 2 Panzer Corps (one was identified as 46) with 3 Panzer and 3 Motorised Divisions (2 of which were SS) at Kharkov and two corps in reserve south of Stalino. As in the northern Ukraine, Soviet forces were weak but arraigned into a deep echelon.

54 Army (attached to the Volga MD) was digging in to protect the direct route to Stalingrad and represented the only reserve formation across 200km of front lines.
In the Crimea, Coastal Army was now isolated at Sevastopol but was ordered to hold the formidable fortifications that surrounded the city [4].



A collection of weak units were protecting the Kerch straight.


Industry and Reserves

Despite its battering, some Red Army formations were gaining combat experience as a result of the localised counterattacks that were becoming a common feature of Soviet operations. However, the number of high morale, experienced units was pittifully low.



Soviet manpower reserves showed a small improvement (up to 220,000 from 160,000) but armanents remained a major problem with reserves now down to 140,000. As with tank production, the main reason was the dislocation caused by relocation of so much production to the Urals.



Capacity for both T-34 and KV production is low due to the relocations. The only artillery piece I have a lot of is the 122mm howitzer so for the moment am trying to use that for new support units (till the armanent production problem improves).




[1] – this reflects the number of army + size encirclements I've suffered. We agreed no Lvov but one goal in this game was to see if reduced logistics + reduced Soviet morale allows a more realistic game – ie a fighting retreat (no mass run away) but equally not walls of 15 CV Soviet rifle divisions
[2] – unfortunately neither cut the key west-east lines but hit secondary lines that SigUp is creating.
[3] – in turn 2 it had had almost 800,000 men and 3,000 tanks
[4] – our house rule about naval actions is having an effect here. If I hold Sevastopol, I'm allowed to invade as far west as Odessa (once we reach November), if I lose it I can only invade the Crimea itself.

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RE: 18 – 24 September: Great streets of silence led awa... - 1/9/2014 4:26:35 PM   
jwolf

 

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Thanks for the great commentary and maps.  I'm really enjoying reading from both your and SigUp's POV.  So far the German drive seems reasonably near historical, correct?  I think casualties are much less than historical, but the front line is pretty accurate (although the details of how they got there are of course much different).

I have only played against the AI, but even there Sevastopol is a tough bitch to capture.  I would guess you can hold it for quite a while at least, and unleash your naval fantasies during the late fall and winter. :)

Edit: the loss of Leningrad obviously is very unhistorical. Sorry about that slip. But let's say, south of Lake Ilmen the front line looks decent on casual comparison to the actual war.

< Message edited by jwolf -- 1/9/2014 8:29:31 PM >

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RE: 18 – 24 September: Great streets of silence led awa... - 1/9/2014 7:33:17 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Thanks for the great commentary and maps.  I'm really enjoying reading from both your and SigUp's POV.  So far the German drive seems reasonably near historical, correct?  I think casualties are much less than historical, but the front line is pretty accurate (although the details of how they got there are of course much different).

I have only played against the AI, but even there Sevastopol is a tough bitch to capture.  I would guess you can hold it for quite a while at least, and unleash your naval fantasies during the late fall and winter. :)



Its proving to be a good game, I feel like I am being chucked about like a rag doll but my niggling attacks seem to be having some effect too - didn't report it but in the south I actually routed one Rumanian unit and beat up an exposed mtn division (I think the same as I routed from Stalino a few turns back) - this is the advantage of having a lot of high MP cavalry.

I'm stunned at the success of the partisan war - even if those attacks took out secondary lines, if he is repairing 4-5 hexes a turn that is again attritional.

If we set aside Leningrad, aye its pretty close, but its as if Typhoon kicked off 3 weeks early, but its not looking like something that is plainly silly so in that sense our twiddles with the settings are working.

No desire to reopen the idiotic stushie on the main threads but combat losses of around 2-1 (dead and permanent injured) and a POW toll taking it to 5.5-1 seems pretty much in line with reality, so again that seems to be working out.

I think I can hold Sevastopol unless he diverts a lot down there. If so that opens up some nice potential as he'll need to cover Kerch and watch his rear come November. Even nuisance raids by naval brigades could help a winter offensive.

My worry is worst case losing Moscow this campaign season - I'm a wee bit more relaxed as I think in the north he is now completely committed to the current battles and will find it hard to mass and guard his flanks. But the mild winter will mean I won't take much there - maybe 4-5 hexes which will make 1942 very tense - at least till I can form up rifle corps. I need to think about where to go for - I'd like to regain something in the north but if I can hold the Valdai it may be more a case of purely tactical gains, so that means returning the favour in the Ukraine - where I just happen to have 4 armies stuffed with cavalry divisions waiting for 1 December and being converted to cavalry corps.

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RE: 18 – 24 September: Great streets of silence led awa... - 1/10/2014 12:29:40 PM   
Gabriel B.

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100
[1] – this reflects the number of army + size encirclements I've suffered. We agreed no Lvov but one goal in this game was to see if reduced logistics + reduced Soviet morale allows a more realistic game – ie a fighting retreat (no mass run away) but equally not walls of 15 CV Soviet rifle divisions



In ofense or defense ?

Turn 6 against myself .

15 defense cv was acheived by level 1 forts /light woods , without it would be 5.

Now that can be acheived by 8500 men divisions if they have experience matching morale .
or by 9500 men divisions if they lack experience.

I starve prewar divisions of manpower so that reinforcements would not bring their experience down , except maybe 2 divisions per army with high morale which get pushed to 100 TOE to keep some ofensive punch .


As Axis you cant alow the soviets to dig in , it gets much harder after that.









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RE: 18 – 24 September: Great streets of silence led awa... - 1/10/2014 3:36:17 PM   
loki100


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I meant on defense, its one thing for strong points or well dug in units but not for solid lines.

This is somewhat experimental. We knew from playing a couple of shorter scenarios that an extreme logistic setting (we used 75%) really does slow operational movement and gave the pause-move routine of the war. But it seemed to dampen things too much, so we opted for 90%.

With all the peltonic noise about walls of Soviet rifle divisions, we then decided to drop Soviet morale so that if the Germans moved slower, they wouldn't end up enmeshed in a highly organised defense line.

Guess we were trying to avoid the twin traps of the more games-playing 1941s - Pzrs in Stalingrad on T14 or a solid Soviet defense on T3. One way to disrupt the latter was to make the Soviet army more fragile - and it is. I've got to the stage where any morale over 42 classifies a unit as combat ready and 44 is an elite formation.

Of course, one way or another we may have utterly umbalanced the game, if so at least we've shown that its worth playing with the settings but you need to be very careful.

So far, if we ignore Leningrad (which is more a product of the map than anything else) I'm pretty content with this - I'm on the verge of disaster but keep on getting let off the hook just enough to recreate a line or to make enough niggling counterattacks to keep the Germans from risking too much overextension. I'd be happier if the Panzers weren't on the Moskva-Volga canal but that is a different concern ...

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RE: 18 – 24 September: Great streets of silence led awa... - 1/17/2014 3:05:55 AM   
topeverest


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Can you provide a consolidated map view. I am just trying to absorb all you've written.

With reduced blizzard and lower soviet morale, how do feel about the success of a ruskie winter offensive now that you are in the fall?

< Message edited by topeverest -- 1/17/2014 4:07:59 AM >


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RE: 18 – 24 September: Great streets of silence led awa... - 1/17/2014 7:11:06 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: topeverest

Can you provide a consolidated map view. I am just trying to absorb all you've written.

With reduced blizzard and lower soviet morale, how do feel about the success of a ruskie winter offensive now that you are in the fall?


will do, with the next update I was going to do an overview of September and put in an overall map and other summary stuff. I'm just doing my turn 15 at the moment.

Worried to be honest. I don't have much of a manpower advantage and its now generally noted that the Germans can hold/even counterattack on one sector. I need to get back some terrain around Moscow but that is so obvious I fear that SigUp will make that his priority too.

I'm assuming I'll be able to do some damage in the Ukraine but there is a bit of 'so what', any terrain retaken is going to be vulnerable. On that basis I think my best mindset is simply to try to make the Germans fight while building up for the inevitable 1942 offensive. To have any chance, I need to reduce that to a single sector offensive by the Germans and that means weakening them enough.

At least I'm more or less complete with factory evacs. Hopefully some stuff will come back on stream soon but more importantly it means I can start moving up the mass of units that have piled up in the Urals.

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RE: 18 – 24 September: Great streets of silence led awa... - 1/17/2014 12:58:18 PM   
jwolf

 

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quote:

I need to reduce that to a single sector offensive [in 1942] by the Germans and that means weakening them enough.


So the question is, how?  With my limited experience in the game, I would imagine either pocketing and destroying several German divisions during the blizzard -- which sounds unlikely -- or a steady grinding attack along much of the line with the intent of chewing up enough German manpower to make a difference.  But in that case your own army would be badly worn down as well.  Or would it?

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RE: 18 – 24 September: Great streets of silence led awa... - 1/18/2014 7:06:57 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

quote:

I need to reduce that to a single sector offensive [in 1942] by the Germans and that means weakening them enough.


So the question is, how?  With my limited experience in the game, I would imagine either pocketing and destroying several German divisions during the blizzard -- which sounds unlikely -- or a steady grinding attack along much of the line with the intent of chewing up enough German manpower to make a difference.  But in that case your own army would be badly worn down as well.  Or would it?




good question. I'll use the next update to explore some of this. The problem is my army in the Ukraine has more or less collapsed (makes sense as its had no reinforcements for most of the game) and I've just had to fall back out of the Valdai.

Now in terms of a winter counteroffensive, the first was attractive as the open terrain and the ability to hit the German allies means you can create some threat. The latter carried the possibility that if I'd made it my primary angle then there was a potential threat to the German deep rear - in other words even if my fond dreams of sweeping the Axis forces from Russia were mince, they would still force a dispersal of German effort.

So that leaves Moscow. Yes I will retake some ground and hopefully be able to build up a deeper defense than I have at the moment but I suspect with the new rules a single axis of attack will end up going nowhere.

That makes my only real goal in the winter offensive being to give me a little bit more space for 1942 and simply inflicting losses. If I can leave SigUp with an empty manpower pool for 1942 that is probably as good as I am going to manage.

But then I don't really know how much his forces have been weakened by 1941

The other thing is we have only reached the end of September, so he has a couple more clear turns and can use the snow period. My suspicion is he'll be trying to trash my rail network.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 1/18/2014 8:08:00 AM >


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25 September – 1 October 1941: There ’ll be that dark p... - 1/19/2014 3:21:59 PM   
loki100


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The final week of fighting in September saw more heavy losses for both sides with 45,000 Axis soldiers killed or badly wounded and 250,000 Soviets (of whom 170,000 surrendered at Rzhev and Kharkov). In the Ukraine the bulk of 26 Army was surrounded near Kursk which finished off SW Front as an effective force. In the north, Kalinin fell but NW and Leningrad Fronts escaped encirclement. However, the Moscow sector saw a major Soviet offensive on a vast arc from the Moskva-Volga canal to Tula.

Weekly Report

The Airwar

Again the Luftwaffe tried to draw the VVS into battles around Moscow but the revised Soviet doctrine, combined with a major re-organisation of the fighter squadrons meant that losses were far more even. 156 German and 525 Soviet planes were lost but critically the VVS was still able to support RKKH ground operations, especially around Moscow [1]. In total, September had seen 480 German and almost 2000 Soviet planes lost. Despite this, the VVS was able to field much the same number of operational planes (4,900) as at the start of the month.

The North



At least one of the Panzer groups operating north of Moscow swung away from the city in an attempt to envelop NW and Leningrad Fronts. The other was bogged down along the Moskva-Volga canal and took heavy losses as Soviet forces tried to regain ground lost in mid-September.

Torshok and Kalinin were captured but Vysgny Volochek was held. After a long debate, it was agreed to pull NW and Leningrad fronts back [2].

Stavka was giving serious consideration to pulling the bulk of the Leningrad Front into reserve (I can leave 7 and 32 Armies in the sector – they can be picked up by the Volkhov Front when that activates) and bring 24 and 27 Armies to bear either on the Moskva-Volga canal or to reinforce Bryansk Front thus protecting the southern flank of Moscow.

The Ukraine



At Sevastopol, heavy rains prevented any operations by either side. In the lower Don, the Germans pressed towards Rostov while the Panzer Group detected south of Bryansk createed yet another pocket, this time at Kursk.

With this in mind, Stavka ordered SW Front to retire towards Voronezh leaving weak rearguards on the most likely axis of advance. S Front shifted its focus to the south to keep in contact with the elements of N Caucasus Front around Rostov.

Accepting that the Ukrainian Fronts were now too weak, for the first time Stavka sent a sizeable reinforcement to that sector [3]

Moscow



However, at Moscow, Stavka ordered a major offensive that unfolded from the 28th. Once it was clear that the German armoured reserves were committed, and moving away from Moscow, it was decided to gamble on a major offensive before the German infantry freed from the Rzhev battles was able to reach the front.

To the north, 55 Army hit 19 Panzer clearing the west bank of the Moskva-Volga canal




(KV-1 in action in support of 55 Army)

In the centre, Reserve Front drove in exposed infantry formations on the Moskva river sector.



However, the main attack was launched by West Front leading to two German infantry divisions being cut off and heavy losses inflicted [4]




(elements of Western Front in action along the Oka)

OOB



The Ukrainian Fronts continue to shrink (now down to 1.1m) but I am finally sending some fresh units to them. Not least I want to pull my largely cavalry armies out of the line so they can recover in time for December.

Since I am now pretty much finished with factory evacuations, I am able to bring up a lot of the reserve formations from the Urals. These should be allocated to the front line formations in early October.

Last turn I included a report on my few competent units, here are a bunch of formations who really should be guarding something non-essential in Kamchatka ....




Review

Military Situation



In September, the overall Soviet military strength remained constant at around 4.5m despite almost 600,000 losses (of which 310,000 were taken prisoner). However, Soviet armoured forces shrunk from 3,700 to 2,500 as losses escalated (1,200 were destroyed) and production collapsed as industry was sent to the Urals. By comparison it was estimated that the Axis forces had lost 150,000 men and 550 tanks.

Soviet production slowed badly. Spare armanents were down to 78,000 compared to 230,000 at the end of August. However, manpower reserves were steadily improving from 140,000 to 230,000.

Although the losses of men and machines were crippling, September had also seen nearly catastrophic losses in terms of territory. Despite the recent attacks, the Germans were firmly entrenched north and south of Moscow and the Soviet fronts in the north and the Ukraine had effectively collapsed as organised formations.




Industrial Situation

With Moscow, threatened, the Ukraine lost and Soviet forces in the north in disarray it was vital to try and equip all the new formations forming up in the deep rear. As such, Soviet industry was working at near full potential, but this potential was badly depressed by the disruption of having had to evacuate so much:



In general, immediate reserves of supplies, key resources, ammunition and trucks were adequate for current operations:



However, all forms of heavy weapons were in short supply and the armanents needed to replenish these were dropping alarmingly.

Options

Stavka's planning for October was driven by a simple lack of choice. Around Moscow there was no choice but to fight to hold the current lines. Multiple defensive belts now lay to the west of the city and additional fortifications were being dug to the rear to prevent any chance of the Germans cutting the rail links to the Urals. The counteroffensive by Western Front gave some hope (especially as the Panzer Group had been committed at Kursk not Orel) that the threat to the south of the city had been ended.

However, there were two Panzer Groups to the north and it was assumed the German infantry formations that had just destroyed the Rzhev pocket would soon start to attack Reserve Front.

Beyond Moscow, the priority now was to preserve as much of the current army. Apart from at Rostov, there would be no more committed defensive operations. Equally it was essential to pull the handful of mobile forces composed of cavalry and tank brigades into reserve so as to refit. These were 34 Army (West), 43 Army (Bryansk), 50 Army (N Cauc) and 51 Army (South). Stavka reserves had enough mobile formations to equip another mobile army and this would be allocated to replace the losses in SW Front.

The location of these armies indicated that the Ukraine was the most likely sector for their commitment.

The other decision was what to do with Leningrad Front. One option was to split it, leaving two armies in the North and bring the rest into reserve. It could then be used on the Moskva-Volga canal operations or to ensure that Tula remained in Soviet hands.

Equally if it was left in its current position, it posed a threat to the Germans in the north, forcing them to keep more formations in that sector.

[1] – we discussed this by email, it seems the German planes are limited in my turn due to having been heavily used in their turn. I guess the reverse applies too?
[2] – we still haven't had a random mud turn at Moscow but I've now lost so much in encirclements that I cannot risk another significant loss.
[3] – I've now completed my evacuations and don't want to pull out any more. My only major loss was at Stalino. I've left most of the Moscow factories as I hope to hold the city and can then move those factories in the winter. Equally I have so many damaged and disrupted factories at the moment that my actual production is very low – ideally I need to stagger any secondary moves until the first batch come back into operation.
[4] – my gamble here is we finally have mud around Moscow, in which case they will suffer badly from attrition, even if I can't destroy them



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RE: 25 September – 1 October 1941: There ’ll be that da... - 1/19/2014 5:37:15 PM   
swkuh

 

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Thanks for your remarkable AAR, commentary is very useful to me. A good game is worth the effort no matter the outcome.

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RE: 25 September – 1 October 1941: There ’ll be that da... - 1/21/2014 8:53:21 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rrbill

Thanks for your remarkable AAR, commentary is very useful to me. A good game is worth the effort no matter the outcome.


thank you ... I agree, this is proving to be interesting, as well as testing out some ideas, so I'm trying to provide enough information to allow some sort of interpretation of why things are happening. So far the logistic issue (except as an increase of fatigue) has yet to really hit me, but the morale malus I am very aware of.

I have a feeling that 1942 is going to be grim ... but first I have to survive till Decemeber

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2 – 8 October 1941: First Autumn Mourns (turn 16) - 1/21/2014 9:10:02 PM   
loki100


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The first week in October saw one of the periodic lulls that had fallen over the front. Losses reflected this with 31,000 Axis and 140,000 Soviet losses (including 85,000 taken prisoner at Kursk) 77 Axis and 260 Soviet planes lost. For the first time, Axis tank losses exceeded those suffered by the Red Army (142 to 135).

In the north, AGN advanced in the Valdai region while NW Front deployed along the Tveritsa line. Here the only notable action was a failed attempt to force the Germans back at Spirovo. In the Ukraine, apart from the destruction of the Kursk pocket and Axis gains around Rostov there was little combat as Soviet rearguards clashed with advanced elements of AGS.

Even at Moscow, there was little sustained action.

21 and 30 Armies lost some ground around Ruza as German infantry pushed forward in substantial numbers but on a very narrow front. To the south of Kaluga, the Germans fell back to escape encirclement even as their northern flank was threatened near Peremyshl.


(elements of 3 Army in action)

The main action was at Orel where the Germans struck north trapping most of 28A in the city. 43A's relief attempt along the Zusra failed badly.



The renewed threat to the south of Moscow resolved the debates in Stavka about the future of Leningrad Front. 7 Army was handed over to the control of the Urals MD with orders to hold Cherepovets and 28 Army dug in around Vyshny Volochek protecting the north flank of NW Front.

The two strongest armies (24 and 32) and most the front assets were taken into Stavka reserve and deployed to stop any German offensive at Tula. For the first time at Moscow Stavka had significant reserves, 48 Army was still preparing defensive lines to the rear of the city but 29 Army (Reserve Front) was being rebuit from freshly trained units. Finally the mobile cavalry forces of 34 Army were being re-organised behind Tula and strengthened with the allocation of a number of tank brigades.



Even the Ukrainian Fronts, for the first time since July, saw reinforcements arriving to repair their shattered ranks. Slowly, across the long front, Soviet planning shifting from mere survival to consideration of how to regain lost territory [1]

Reserves of manpower slowly improved with 245,000 men in reserve and 4.5 million in combat units (500,000 in units assigned to Stavka in deep reserve). The worry was the lack of equipment, reserves of armanents were down to 24,000 [2]. However, the very first lend-lease help was arriving. A few trucks, some supplies, tanks and fighter planes.




(Matilda tanks moving up in 6 Army sector south of Voronezh) -- [3]

Finally the partisan war flared into life again. A key part of the German rail net at Vilnius was severly damaged (34%) in a highly successful raid.




(German train blown up near Vilnius)

In the Ukraine, the secondary line near Odessa was blown up again.

[1] – what I am trying to do is to pull the five armies stuffed with cavalry divisions into reserve. Easier said than done as especially in the Ukraine they are holding the line in places, hence my decision to finally start sending fresh rifle divisions to fill out the gaps in the Ukrainian Fronts
[2] – I'm starting to get a lot of those 0 tank/few men tank brigades. I'm spending AP on scrapping these as I don't want to spread out my few tanks too widely. I hope, but am not sure, that in turn, this may help my dire situation with armanents.
[3] – Soviet tankers reported they hated using the Matilda. This is quite a good interview with one Soviet tank commander and how a tank redesigned for desert conditions was a nightmare in the swamps north of Smolensk.



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RE: 2 – 8 October 1941: First Autumn Mourns (turn 16) - 1/22/2014 1:04:53 AM   
jwolf

 

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Turn 16 = calm before the storm of one last major German thrust before mud?

Regarding your new and nearly empty tank brigades, do you really have to disband them to keep them from getting reinforced? Please excuse my inexperience but that just sounds, well, extreme.

Judging from the screenshot of your failed counterattack, your divisions are worn down very, very badly. Mud cannot come soon enough! Good luck.

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RE: 2 – 8 October 1941: First Autumn Mourns (turn 16) - 1/22/2014 7:02:01 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Turn 16 = calm before the storm of one last major German thrust before mud?

Regarding your new and nearly empty tank brigades, do you really have to disband them to keep them from getting reinforced? Please excuse my inexperience but that just sounds, well, extreme.

Judging from the screenshot of your failed counterattack, your divisions are worn down very, very badly. Mud cannot come soon enough! Good luck.


Well SigUp has just told me that T17 is still clear at Moscow ... so while I think random weather does work on balance in the Soviet favour in 1941, it can be a problem too. Going from when we played the Moscow scenario, my suspicion is he is now planning a large tank raid to wreck my rail net rather than looking for more permanent gains - this is one reason for my build up around Tula and I am slowly raising new rail engineering Support Units (despite my lack of armaments)

I'm not sure about the tank brigades - I guess I could link them to one of the rear area Military Districts and set that not to reinforce. But I am using 2/3 of them already to control combat formations on quiet sectors - Urals MD in the North and Volga MD picking up rear area units on the lower Don. This is fairly efficient as it costs 0 AP to swap any such army HQ out to a conventional front later on and helps me keep things organised.

I've got rid of I think 12-15, still have some of the 0 tank ones and a number with only 4-5 tanks. Playing the AI I've tended to keep them all, let them build up and so on, but I've never been in such a dire state for armaments as I am now. I'm just hoping that once the stuff I evacuated comes back on line, I'll recover quickly, which is another reason for not doing the second wave of evacuations (Moscow and some areas deeper in the rear in the South) till that lot are working again. Over time I should be ok, I don't think I have lost more than 30 armaments factories.

Going back to the debate on the main forum, that disaster shows the cost of Soviet attacks if/when they fail. You can set it up to around 85-90% certainty but every now and then one will go wrong. Before I attacked the stack on the left (now showing as 1-9) was 3-14 and the 2-2 was 4-4. Still I did destroy 4 tanks.

I'm also doing a lot of essentially pointless attacks from within a pocket - you can see that as the 2 red attack indicators on the lhs of the image. These fail dismally - but of course the units are doomed in any case - so I target the Pzrs and usually destroy a few tanks (& hopefully inflict some fatigue). Hopefully it is all slowly adding up

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(in reply to jwolf)
Post #: 59
RE: 2 – 8 October 1941: First Autumn Mourns (turn 16) - 1/23/2014 5:29:41 PM   
Stuyvesant

 

Posts: 11
Joined: 12/9/2013
Status: offline
I'm still reading, but there's a limit to the number of ways I can essentially repeat "Yikes! Those Germans are really close to Moscow" and not start sounding like a broken record...

If I follow your reasoning, then you withdrew armies from the north (to beef up the defenses of Moscow) because you reasonably expect your opponent to commit to Moscow, as opposed to striking for the strategic timber resources of sub-Arctic Russia? I can't fault your reasoning, but I do notice that you appear to be plugging existing holes by creating new ones.

Really rather disturbing how the Germans appear to have freedom to operate anywhere between north of Moscow down south to the Black Sea. I realize they can't simply walk into Moscow, your defenses are too formidable for that, but still: the Germans seem to have the initiative, while you mostly have to hunker down to fend off the (inevitable) blow aimed at Moscow.

Let's see if you can make it into 1942 with Moscow in your hands...

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 60
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