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RE: Turn 116: 2 – 8 September 1943 - 2/6/2016 7:05:58 AM   
VigaBrand

 

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You couldn't compare this games.
Loki had much more Industry and armaments points than you. Thats why at the start of our game I was a noob and you play pelton.
So Loki will get no supply issues and he had tons of armarment points for his artillery divisions. So he feels free to built what ever suits him and you had some more limits.
I like what loki built (from a soviet point of view) and I think it is exactly the right units for his strategy and his view of that war.



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Post #: 481
RE: Turn 116: 2 – 8 September 1943 - 2/6/2016 3:36:48 PM   
STEF78


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Your (superb) AAR show how important the race for industry/armament 1941 and ground in 1942 is. It's the keypoint on the mid/long term war.

You saved your industry, kept ground in 1942 and despite a great encirclement from Vigabrand, you are now on the clear way of victory.

You are both at the time where pzd/mot german units can still save hot situation and inflict significant losses to the the russians. But, in french, we would say: "c'est le chant du cygne de la Wehrmacht" It's the swan's song of the Wehrmacht... the last hurrah before the beginning of the end.

Keep on Loki100, hammer the germans wherever you can! Time is on you side!

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Post #: 482
RE: Turn 116: 2 – 8 September 1943 - 2/6/2016 7:17:18 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: VigaBrand

You couldn't compare this games.
Loki had much more Industry and armaments points than you. Thats why at the start of our game I was a noob and you play pelton.
So Loki will get no supply issues and he had tons of armarment points for his artillery divisions. So he feels free to built what ever suits him and you had some more limits.
I like what loki built (from a soviet point of view) and I think it is exactly the right units for his strategy and his view of that war.




which is why I argue constantly that what works is situational rather than hard-wired, if I wasn't awash in arms pts and supply then I would have to limit my artillery production, as it is the Red Army is utterly reliant on its artillery support for its advances

quote:

ORIGINAL: STEF78

Your (superb) AAR show how important the race for industry/armament 1941 and ground in 1942 is. It's the keypoint on the mid/long term war.

You saved your industry, kept ground in 1942 and despite a great encirclement from Vigabrand, you are now on the clear way of victory.

You are both at the time where pzd/mot german units can still save hot situation and inflict significant losses to the the russians. But, in french, we would say: "c'est le chant du cygne de la Wehrmacht" It's the swan's song of the Wehrmacht... the last hurrah before the beginning of the end.

Keep on Loki100, hammer the germans wherever you can! Time is on you side!


I think this is a fair summary, I got out more than I needed in 41 and vigabrand started his 42 offensives too far west, he turned the game around but couldn't shift me far enough east (which I think means at least behind the Don). But his Panzers are still very powerful - this is not the last time my over-optimism leads to a local disaster. I guess that as the NM changes wreck his infantry, he'll have to lock more and more of his armour into the front lines?


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RE: Turn 116: 2 – 8 September 1943 - 2/6/2016 9:16:25 PM   
Peltonx


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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100


quote:

ORIGINAL: VigaBrand

You couldn't compare this games.
Loki had much more Industry and armaments points than you. Thats why at the start of our game I was a noob and you play pelton.
So Loki will get no supply issues and he had tons of armarment points for his artillery divisions. So he feels free to built what ever suits him and you had some more limits.
I like what loki built (from a soviet point of view) and I think it is exactly the right units for his strategy and his view of that war.




which is why I argue constantly that what works is situational rather than hard-wired, if I wasn't awash in arms pts and supply then I would have to limit my artillery production, as it is the Red Army is utterly reliant on its artillery support for its advances

quote:

ORIGINAL: STEF78

Your (superb) AAR show how important the race for industry/armament 1941 and ground in 1942 is. It's the keypoint on the mid/long term war.

You saved your industry, kept ground in 1942 and despite a great encirclement from Vigabrand, you are now on the clear way of victory.

You are both at the time where pzd/mot german units can still save hot situation and inflict significant losses to the the russians. But, in french, we would say: "c'est le chant du cygne de la Wehrmacht" It's the swan's song of the Wehrmacht... the last hurrah before the beginning of the end.

Keep on Loki100, hammer the germans wherever you can! Time is on you side!


I think this is a fair summary, I got out more than I needed in 41 and vigabrand started his 42 offensives too far west, he turned the game around but couldn't shift me far enough east (which I think means at least behind the Don). But his Panzers are still very powerful - this is not the last time my over-optimism leads to a local disaster. I guess that as the NM changes wreck his infantry, he'll have to lock more and more of his armour into the front lines?


Yes grind all along the front, do not freak out about your manpower ect as ratio is 2-1 . You have more now and get more every turn. You kinda have to have Stalins mindset, grind forward. You need to up your tempo to atleast 50+ attacks per turn or more. Which is why his army is so huge. You have mastered 41/42, you have to grind more. Then 44 you can get pockets as he has no spase to trade for time

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RE: Turn 116: 2 – 8 September 1943 - 2/7/2016 8:57:16 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

..

Yes grind all along the front, do not freak out about your manpower ect as ratio is 2-1 . You have more now and get more every turn. You kinda have to have Stalins mindset, grind forward. You need to up your tempo to atleast 50+ attacks per turn or more. Which is why his army is so huge. You have mastered 41/42, you have to grind more. Then 44 you can get pockets as he has no spase to trade for time


everyone has their own preferences and play style but I think the core problem that vigabrand has is that to some extent time is now on my side. The NM shifts will come into play (actually I would rather what happens is a new lower base is created but units only decline due to combat losses or poor supply) and he can't give up as much space as he has.

this is why I think he's given up too much when the combat capacity of the two armies was much better matched. But we'll see, it could have been a very astute move to save so much for the battles in 1944 as a means to prevent any real gaps occuring in his lines.

edit: ... next update is ready but imageshack has fallen over (yet) again ... getting pretty fed up with this but hopefully its all working tomorrow

< Message edited by loki100 -- 2/7/2016 10:04:09 PM >


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RE: T101-103: 20 May 1943 – 12 June 1943 - 2/7/2016 10:30:21 PM   
timmyab

 

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It's a bit early still for deep penetrations I would think. I would keep smashing his army up for another six to nine months and then "release the hounds" as mr Burns would say. (If you never watched the Simpsons that wont mean anything to you)

< Message edited by timmyab -- 2/7/2016 11:32:25 PM >

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RE: T101-103: 20 May 1943 – 12 June 1943 - 2/8/2016 7:14:06 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab

It's a bit early still for deep penetrations I would think. I would keep smashing his army up for another six to nine months and then "release the hounds" as mr Burns would say. (If you never watched the Simpsons that wont mean anything to you)


thats a fair point, for the most part at the moment there is no way can I risk going too far beyond the safety net of my main front line. In this case I ended up losing far more than I'd expected, I was quite prepared to sacrifice a relatively inexperienced tank army to disrupt all his defences in the north-east Ukraine.

what I didn't expect was to lose 2 more armies - but equally I didn't expect to be handed all the eastern Ukraine ... so I both lost far more than I was prepared to and gained a lot more as well

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Post #: 487
Turns 117-118: 9 – 22 September 1943 - 2/8/2016 7:21:24 AM   
loki100


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Turns 117-118: 9 – 22 September 1943


Well what do you expect me to say? Vladimir had been sent into Chernigov to ensure effective communications with 40 Army command. When the Germans recaptured the city he disappeared. I never even found out if he had been killed or captured.




(T-34s knocked out near Chernigov)

I had lost Sascha in the Volkhov battles, my mother and sister (if still alive) were trapped in Leningrad ... now under regular shellfire from Soviet artillery.

It was hard to carry on, especially as many of the Stavka staff were optimistic now that Kalinin and North-Western Fronts had driven the Germans back to the Berezina. To some it was obvious that Minsk would be liberated before the autumn rains.




I had my doubts, and they were not just due to a feeling of personal loss.

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

By mid-September the Germans went back onto the defensive. For Stavka, it was clear that the river barriers of the Dneipr and Dvina marked the limits of the summer offensive. Here and there individual fronts forced isolated bridgeheads but these were easily eliminated by the Germans. A combination of having out-run their supply lines and the major rivers meant the Soviet forces too went over to the defensive till the rivers froze.

The exception was the sector between the Dvina and the Pripyet marshes, in particular the upper Berezina. While this was a significant barrier, it was something that Kalinin and North-Western Fronts could cross in the early autumn.

The first major breach was made by 24 and 32 Armies in mid-September.





(Soviet troops forcing the upper Berezina)

By 22 September, Kalinin Front had reached the German defensive line and was ready to push towards Minsk. For the moment, its southern flank was guarded by the Volkhov Front and North-Western Front was making gains to the south of the Dvina. Elsewhere Stavka was making early preparations for the winter offensive as a number of Fronts were being pulled into reserve or redeployed to new sectors.





Over the last two weeks the Germans had lost 80,000 men (48,000 killed), 260 tanks and 270 planes for Soviet losses of 280,000 men (70,000 killed and 100,000 prisoners), 2,600 tanks and 800 planes. However, Soviet formations were steadily reaching the Dneipr in the Ukraine, the Berezina in Bielorussia and the Dauga/Dvina in the Baltic states.

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Turn 119: 23 – 29 September 1943 - 2/8/2016 7:57:06 PM   
loki100


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Turn 119: 23 – 29 September 1943

Kalinin Front was probably the elite formation in the Red Army. Its 4 combat armies had held the line in front of Moscow in late 1942 and had led the offensive that had driven the Germans from 30 km west of Moscow to the Berezina. The bulk of its combat commands had already been awarded Guards status and Stavka redesignated the 32 Army as the lead unit of the Red Army – 1 Guards Army.



Not that either the front or its formations were to have a break. The bulk of the Soviet army reached the natural barriers of the Dneipr and the Dvina (or were pulled back into Stavka reserve to re-equip) and went over to the defence. On the Berezina, Stavka was determined to make some final gains before the autumn rains brought the summer offensive to a halt.

The main attacks were to the north and south of the rail crossing on the Orsha-Minsk line.




(Sappers clearing German defensive positions on the Berezina)

At the same time Volkhov Front also forced the Berezina to the south.



Making the assumption that the bulk of the German Panzers were still to the south, Soviet tanks exploited the gains.
[1]

In the Ukraine, Soviet forces secured the east bank and advanced towards Kiev. In order to test the strength of the German reserves, North Caucasus Front forced a small bridgehead south of Cherkassy.




(Soviet cavalry advancing in the Ukraine)


[1] You can probably guess what happens next ...

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RE: Turn 119: 23 – 29 September 1943 - 2/12/2016 12:18:38 AM   
Wuffer

 

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Drama, full of tension, astonishing: Of all your AARs this is definitely the one I liked the most, Loki. Not bad. Worth a sticky imho. Glad to see this continuing.

Every turn a surprise. The audience love you both... :-)

@ Vigabrand
Not bad, really.
Instead of giving up you came back, stronger as ever and with a surprising sharpened tactical killer instinct. not bad. All these victories... (ok, otherwise you would be dead now) :-)
But the real dark trouble is starting just now: Think strategical, choose your battlefields very calm and deadly - who wants to defend everything will loose everything...
Weitermachen!



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RE: Turn 119: 23 – 29 September 1943 - 2/12/2016 8:10:37 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wuffer

Drama, full of tension, astonishing: Of all your AARs this is definitely the one I liked the most, Loki. Not bad. Worth a sticky imho. Glad to see this continuing.

Every turn a surprise. The audience love you both... :-)

@ Vigabrand
Not bad, really.
Instead of giving up you came back, stronger as ever and with a surprising sharpened tactical killer instinct. not bad. All these victories... (ok, otherwise you would be dead now) :-)
But the real dark trouble is starting just now: Think strategical, choose your battlefields very calm and deadly - who wants to defend everything will loose everything...
Weitermachen!




thank you, this is my first PBEM into this phase (AI by this stage is only worth playing to test out ideas), so the shift in battlefield power is something I am seeing for the first time.

I like vigabrand's counter-attacking style ... its frustrating and he's cost me the equivalent of 3 Armies (including some of my best units nurtured from the dark days of 1941). But when I look at Pelton's straight lines and 'hexes to Berlin' I lose the will to live to be honest - its like a lot of gameplay styles, what is the most effective if all you want to do is to win (or avoid defeat) is actually pretty tedious in practice.

We're a few turns ahead (the autumn lull was long this year due to the rivers) and for the first time I've had a stack retreat through zocs over more than one hex and not actually rout (ok I lost a lot of tanks but no real hit to morale etc). If that is now normal, it'll change how I stack up around a narrow spearhead.


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Turns 120-127: 30 September – 24 November 1943 - 2/12/2016 8:12:17 AM   
loki100


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Turns 120-127: 30 September – 24 November 1943

The autumn and early winter of 1943 saw the longest pause in active operations of the entire war.

This was not just the usual consequence of the autumn rains but due to the new geography of the battlefield. In the Ukraine the two armies were separated by the wide Dneipr. In the Baltic region, the winding Dvina/Dauga with its swamps and marshes served the same role. On both sectors, Soviet forces tested the German defences but on neither were able to sustain a bridgehead.

A second problem was the consequence of the rapid Soviet advances in August. There was a need to repair the rail network so as to be able to supply the next set of offensives.

Finally, the result of the summer battles was that a number of Soviet Fronts were now out of position for the next phase or needed to be withdrawn to recover [1].

This left one sector where the Germans were not protected by a massive river barrier. Accordingly Stavka ordered the renamed 1 and 2 Baltic Fronts (previously the Kalinin and North-West Fronts) to expand their grip on the west bank of the Berezina. However, it was not just the Soviets who were able to concentrate on a narrow sector of the front. Freed of any real fear of a wider Soviet offensive the Germans brought their better armoured divisions to the sector.

Soviet intelligence reports suggested that the bulk of the German heavy Tiger tanks were in action on this sector as they tried to offset the impact of the massive Soviet artillery barrages that were key to the Soviet gains.

The result of this German commitment was to slow progress and sometimes to cut off Soviet spearheads. Late September saw the loss of several Soviet Tank Corps that had over-reached themselves.



However, 1 and 2 Baltic Fronts settled down to the slow business of dismantling the German defences. By early October, 1 Baltic Front had broadened its grip on the west bank.




(soviet infantry clearing the German defensive lines)

By the end of the month, in the first snows of winter, Soviet units were 20 miles to the west and had taken a 30 mile long sector over the Berezina.



After a lull due to the autumn rains, 2 Baltic continued to make steady gains south the Dvina driving back the already battered formations of XXVIII and V German Corps.


(elements of 22 Army forcing the Ulla)



At the same time, the renamed 2 Guards Army smashed through the centre of the German defences.







[1] I've a planning post ready but don't want to post it till the winter battles actually have started ... for what maybe obvious reasons.
[2] I am really going off imageshack - uploading images is becoming very difficult

< Message edited by loki100 -- 2/12/2016 9:26:05 AM >


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Turns 128-129: 25 November – 8 December 1943 - 2/15/2016 9:12:39 PM   
loki100


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Turns 128-129: 25 November – 8 December 1943

While the rest of the long front remained quiet, the battle on the approaches to Minsk intensified. The period to the 1 December saw little action as late rains melted the surface snow leaving both sides locked in place. However, the night of 1 December saw the temperature fall and this time it was the Germans who took advantage.

A massive offensive using the bulk of 3 Panzer Corps, and led by their Tiger Tanks, managed to isolate the Soviet spearheads from 31 Army.



In addition, German bombers persisted in their attacks even after the VVS had gained domination over the battlefield.



To the south, Western Front took advantage of the commitment of the German reserves. The Front had deployed into the sector in the previous week and the original plan was to hold it back till the main offensive commenced. However, a combination of opportunity and need led Stavka to order it over to the offensive.



By 5 December, its lead armoured formations had over-run a collection of German airbases destroying some 136 German bombers.

To the north, 22 and 3 Shock Armies continued to make steady gains along the Dvina.

However, it was the response by 1 Guards Army that indicated how much the balance on the battlefield had changed. Backed by the usual massive artillery barrage, the riflemen backed by 2 Mechanized Corps drove into the over-extended 41 Panzer Corps. The blizzard conditions meant much of the fighting was at close quarters negating the main advantage of the German Tiger and Panther Tanks. In these circumstances the SU-152s proved to be highly effective operating in close co-operation with the infantry.




(SU-152 moving up to the front)

As a measure of the growing confidence of the 1 Baltic Front, Chuikov's 20 Army then went over to the offensive. The German 50 Corps was driven back from the Berezina with heavy losses as 1 Baltic and Western Fronts tried to ensure complete Soviet control of the upper Berezina.







Over these two weeks, the Germans lost 55,000 men (17,000 kia), 90 tanks and 270 planes for Soviet losses of 82,000 men (44,000 kia), 160 tanks and 280 planes.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 2/15/2016 10:17:30 PM >


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RE: Turns 128-129: 25 November – 8 December 1943 - 2/16/2016 12:37:34 PM   
jwolf

 

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Nice counterattack. I'll bet that will curtail further German efforts along these lines.

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RE: Turns 128-129: 25 November – 8 December 1943 - 2/16/2016 7:28:32 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Nice counterattack. I'll bet that will curtail further German efforts along these lines.


its interesting what a difference him trying to hit my best formations deployed on their own terms and the more open battle at Chernigov. That is indeed the last time he sticks a Pzr Corps between my line of battle and a cut off spearhead

next turn he's content to drive in the spearhead which is the safer option but again its indicative of just how much the balance has shifted (mostly fuelled by the NM changes). The big test is whether my armoured formations can cope with the Pzrs in a more mobile battle ..

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Turn 130: 9 – 15 December 1943 - 2/18/2016 9:02:21 PM   
loki100


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Turn 130: 9 – 15 December 1943

Now that Western Front was committed, three powerful Soviet fronts were struggling to break the German lines and reach Minsk.

However, German resistance had also stiffened, especially in the centre as Soviet breakthroughs were closed off. The advanced elements of 31 Army just managed to fight their way out of encirclement after the previous week's relief offensive.


[1]

In response, the Soviets only made limited attacks. 1 Baltic Front made some gains on its flanks. To the north, 2 Baltic cleared more of the south bank of the Dvina. Meanwhile to the south, Western Front consolidated its gains from the previous week.


(Soviet reserves moving up)



The notion of an operational pause seemed strange for formations that had been fighting constantly since late August. Even so, Stavka ordered the fronts to rest some of their main assault formations for the main offensive as well as to shift direction to make use of the gains on 1 Baltic's flanks.


(a short break for the main combat forces of 1 Baltic Front)

Late in the evening of 15 December, Stavka unleashed its two main winter offensives. Codenamed Kutusov in Bielorrussia and Suvorov in the Ukraine, the Red Army commenced its third major winter offensive of the war. In the north, the opening target was the liberation of all of Bielorussia and, if possible, to reach the German border. In the south, the initial goal was to reach the 1939 Soviet border.



[1] This is the first time my units have retreated through an overstacked hex rather than routed. Ok I lost a lot of tanks, but no real hit to their morale.

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Plans for the winter offensive - 2/19/2016 11:05:41 AM   
loki100


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September – December 1943

Reaching the Dvina and Dneipr had effectively ended the Soviet summer offensive. Apart from the fighting on the Berezina, the long front lay quiet apart from isolated Soviet attempts to test the German defenses.


(Shows the front line as of 30 September 1943)

Stavka used the lull in part to pull exhausted formations into reserve and also for a massive redeployment of the Red Army. A number of Fronts were renamed to reflect their roles in the upcoming offensive. In addition the Bryansk Front was scrapped, having been blamed for the Chernigov disaster.



Most of Bryansk Front was drawn into Stavka reserve but 40 Army was allocated to the new 3rd Ukrainian Front and 28 Army to the Volkhov Front.

In addition, more formations were awarded Guards Army status. 1 Baltic Front's 24 Army became the 2 Guards Army and North Caucasus Front's 37 and 38 Armies became the 3 and 4 Guards respectively. Stavka allocated additional mobile and artillery assets to these elite formations. In addition, in late November, a fresh tank Army (7 TA) was mobilised.

However, while some Soviet commanders were promoted as a reward for their successes, unexplained car crashes continued to be a feature of life (or more accurately, death) in the Red Army.



As a result of the lull in combat operations, the Soviet rail heads had been brought up to the new front lines, easing supply and preparations for the next offensive.



In addition, to allowing formations to resupply and rest, Stavka started to re-equip the main tank formations. Even upgraded to the KV-85, the existing heavy tanks were no longer effective in their primary function and the T-34/76 was increasingly out-gunned. The first major innovation was the new IS-1 with a better engine and armour than the KV but still using the 85mm gun. It was deployed to a few units to test its effectiveness and speedily replaced with the IS-2 and its 122mm main gun.




(IS-1 undergoing field trials)

However, Soviet preparations for the coming offensives were not just about troop deployments or new tanks. For the first time since 1941, the partisan war was seen as a priority and substantial amounts of supply and NKVD sabotage squads were sent behind the German lines.


[1]


(poster reads: Glory to the Partisan Heroes)


(Partisan attack in the Pripyet region)

The Soviet plan split the battlefield to the north and south of the Pripyet. The northern offensive was code-named Kutusov and the offensive in the Ukraine, Suvorov.

To the north, the main formations were based around highly experienced rifle corps backed by artillery. To the south, Stavka had brought together 11,200 tanks and self-propelled guns compared to just 3,900 to the north.



Despite the very different orders of battles, the Soviet plan was essentially similar on both sectors.

To the north, 1 and 2 Baltic and the Western Fronts were ordered to attack towards Minsk. This was a continuation of the offensive that had started in September and it was hoped would draw off the German reserves in an attempt to protect the shortest route to Berlin. If either the Germans pulled back, or over-committed, Volkhov Front would strike across the Dauga in an attempt to cut off the German retreat and liberate Lithuania.

To the south, 1 and 4 Ukrainian and North Caucasus Front were ordered to cross the Dneipr and try to cut off the axis forces in the Dneipr bend as well as try to outflank Kiev to the south. 3 Ukrainian Front was then to cut through the weak German defenses in the eastern Pripyet and try to encircle the German forces at Kiev.

Each sector also had fronts assigned to an essentially defensive role. Leningrad Front had 3 armies screening the Finnish front and would cover the western flank of Volkhov Front. In the centre, the Stavka reserve and the Bielorrussian front would cover the gap between Western and 3 Ukrainian Fronts. In the far south, the weak Trans-Caucasus and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts would protect the flank of the main assault force and try to slow the expected retreat of the Romanian and Hungarian forces on that sector.

Even with the rivers frozen, it was expected that each front would face strong resistance at the start of the offensive. Careful identification and study of the German deployment indicated one primary target for each front where it was hoped that the Soviets could gain a secure bridgehead. Once the infantry were over the river, armoured and cavalry forces would be committed to exploitation.



[1] – My logic is that this won't do more than inconvenience the Germans but a lucky break at a critical spot may well slow their ability to shift reserves. Also by concentrating on the rail lines in the Pripyet region I am adding to the problems the Germans already have with any north-south troop movements.

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RE: Plans for the winter offensive - 2/19/2016 12:32:50 PM   
jwolf

 

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Once you breach the lower Dnieper I would suppose the Germans will have to fall back, and quite a distance at that. The crossing may be bloody but if you are successful you should recover a lot of territory quickly. Good luck as you fight on -- and here's to hoping it is only the incompetent commanders who fall victim to these auto "accidents."

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RE: Plans for the winter offensive - 2/19/2016 2:06:07 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Once you breach the lower Dnieper I would suppose the Germans will have to fall back, and quite a distance at that. The crossing may be bloody but if you are successful you should recover a lot of territory quickly. Good luck as you fight on -- and here's to hoping it is only the incompetent commanders who fall victim to these auto "accidents."


its not clear in the screenshots but vigabrand basically is holding the Dneipr bend with Hungarians and Rumanians, backed by a few German infantry divisions. Pretty sensible as till the rail line into the Crimea repairs there is no way can I attack out of that region (I end up putting a picket line of divisions onto the Dneipr simply to gain control of the east bank).

so he has no reason to fear a double envelopment. But on the other hand, he knows I'll force the central Dneipr, so as far as I was concerned that region was a free gift waiting to be delivered.

We are a few turns ahead and I've got into an interesting position - not sure if to turn my spearhead north and clear him out of Kiev and open up the fastest route to the Reich or swing south and see if my cavalry-mech corps can't outpace his allied units giving me quite a nice pocket - but in a way leading my offensive into a dead end. WIth a need to keep a powerful cluster of Pzrs under control, I don't have the mobile units to both hold my front intact and risk both operations - though I may be over-estimating his tank strength but recent experience in this game makes me cautious.

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Post #: 499
RE: Plans for the winter offensive - 2/19/2016 2:46:24 PM   
jwolf

 

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quote:

recent experience in this game makes me cautious.


Certainly a legitimate concern as the South in general is very good pocket territory. Easy for the hunter to become the hunted -- but that will work both ways.

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Post #: 500
RE: Plans for the winter offensive - 2/21/2016 11:00:22 AM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

quote:

recent experience in this game makes me cautious.


Certainly a legitimate concern as the South in general is very good pocket territory. Easy for the hunter to become the hunted -- but that will work both ways.


I think it helps that I feel that time is on my side (at the moment), so less feeling that I need to really achieve more than is feasible at this stage. But the temptation to cut loose is ongoing

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Post #: 501
Turn 131: 16 – 22 December 1943 - 2/21/2016 11:03:46 AM   
loki100


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Turn 131: 16 – 22 December 1943


(improvised river crossing south of Kiev)

On the morning of 16 December, the long lull in the war in the Ukraine was shattered. Even before the first Soviet guns roared into life, partisans blew key bridges and rail sections, isolating some sections of the front.

The Suvorov Offensive

The 16th saw the Soviet formations to the south of Kiev in action. The Germans had abandoned Dnepropetrovsk the previous week and elements of Trans-Caucasus Front struck at their retreating units, drawing their reserves away from the main threat.



The main attack saw 3 Fronts (1 Ukrainian, North-Caucasus and 4 Ukrainian) in action.

The infantry formations of 1 Ukrainian stormed Cherkassy catching the Germans by surprise. Initial reports confirmed the earlier guess that there were no German mobile reserves on this sector.



With four tank armies available (1,2, 4 and 6), and no German mobile units behind Cherkassy, the Front quickly expanded its bridgehead. Only a desperate defensive victory by the battered divisions of XXXIV Corps actually prevented the Soviets breaking through the final German defensive positions.




(opening attack of 1 Tank Army)

Even so, 1 Ukrainian had carved out a grip on the west bank that was 40 miles from north to south and up to 30 miles west of the river.

To the south, North Caucasus Front also made rapid progress. 41 and 50 Armies forced the river at Chigirin and Bagramyan's 3 Guard Army quickly broadened the bridgehead. Operating with 41 Army it was able to encircle elements of the German XXXXIX Corps and force them to fall back in disorder.



By the end of the week, the two fronts joined up on the west bank, given the Red Army control of a 60 mile long stretch of the river.



Finally 4 Ukrainian captured high ground over the river and threatened the rear of the axis units retreating in the Dneipr bend.

The original plan had called for 3 Ukrainian to be held back till the Germans had committed their reserves. However, the success of the partisan campaign in the region, and clear evidence that the Germans had no mobile reserves north of Cherkassy, led Stavka to order the front to attack on the 17th.


(partisan sabotage mission in the Chernobyl region)

Unlike further south, the German defence was weak enough that 4 and 5 Shock Armies created a 30 mile breach in their front line in the opening hours.

With that, 3 and 5 Tank Armies and the cavalry-mechanised group of 40 Army were able to exploit the confusion. By the end of the week, Soviet spearheads had reached the Pripyet around Chernobyl. The biggest obstacle was not German resistance but the poor roads and deep woods of this region.



The Kutuzov Offensive

North of the Pripyet, there was no immediate difference between the previous fighting east of Minsk and the new Soviet offensive. Western and 2 Baltic Fronts made some gains while 1 Baltic continued to pin down the bulk of the German armoured formations. The Dauga remained unfrozen, limiting the scope to broaden the offensive.

Now that the fighting was across the entire front from Dnepropetrovsk to the Dvina, losses escalated. The Axis lost 39,000 men (17,000 kia), 75 tanks and 225 planes for Soviet losses of 53,000 men (31,000 kia), 400 tanks and 210 planes.

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Post #: 502
RE: Turn 131: 16 – 22 December 1943 - 2/21/2016 12:52:17 PM   
gingerbread


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In your rail screen shot, I noticed that the hex next to Cherkassy is shown as repaired but unusable. How did you manage to repair it? I have assumed that repairs in ZOC are prohibited. By how I mean which of auto repair from an HQ or with the rail repair unit during movement.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 503
RE: Turn 131: 16 – 22 December 1943 - 2/21/2016 4:00:55 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: gingerbread

In your rail screen shot, I noticed that the hex next to Cherkassy is shown as repaired but unusable. How did you manage to repair it? I have assumed that repairs in ZOC are prohibited. By how I mean which of auto repair from an HQ or with the rail repair unit during movement.


I'm noticing quite a lot of odd repair events. I think you could always repair a hex in a zoc (using the on-map repair units) but what happens quite a lot is auto repair 'jumps' a hex to repair something it shouldn't. I think it is interpreting 'next to' as adjacent rather than as being linked by a functioning rail line.

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Post #: 504
RE: Turn 131: 16 – 22 December 1943 - 2/22/2016 12:44:22 PM   
jwolf

 

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1.99, that hurts ...

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 505
RE: Turn 131: 16 – 22 December 1943 - 2/22/2016 12:53:52 PM   
morvael


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quote:

ORIGINAL: gingerbread

In your rail screen shot, I noticed that the hex next to Cherkassy is shown as repaired but unusable. How did you manage to repair it? I have assumed that repairs in ZOC are prohibited. By how I mean which of auto repair from an HQ or with the rail repair unit during movement.


This can be a hex which was repaired and then came into contact with enemy ZOC but was protected by own ZOC so it wasn't captured and destroyed. Recently I had 40+ rail hexes cut of in this way by Soviet tank brigade in my PBEM game, when I pushed them back the rail came online.

(in reply to gingerbread)
Post #: 506
RE: Turn 131: 16 – 22 December 1943 - 2/22/2016 3:12:13 PM   
gingerbread


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quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael


quote:

ORIGINAL: gingerbread

In your rail screen shot, I noticed that the hex next to Cherkassy is shown as repaired but unusable. How did you manage to repair it? I have assumed that repairs in ZOC are prohibited. By how I mean which of auto repair from an HQ or with the rail repair unit during movement.


This can be a hex which was repaired and then came into contact with enemy ZOC but was protected by own ZOC so it wasn't captured and destroyed. Recently I had 40+ rail hexes cut of in this way by Soviet tank brigade in my PBEM game, when I pushed them back the rail came online.

Well, it could be such a hex but that would mean that Vigabrand left Cherkassy ungarrisoned, not very likely. This unlikeliness is why I asked in the first place.

The sometimes not all trustworthy manual states explicitly that auto repair will not happen adjacent to enemy units but makes no mention of ZOC.

< Message edited by gingerbread -- 2/22/2016 4:13:29 PM >

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Post #: 507
RE: Turn 131: 16 – 22 December 1943 - 2/22/2016 4:13:36 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

1.99, that hurts ...


yep, I pushed them back with a follow up attack but I could have had the MP to reach and displace his airbase otherwise

quote:

ORIGINAL: gingerbread

quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael


quote:

ORIGINAL: gingerbread

In your rail screen shot, I noticed that the hex next to Cherkassy is shown as repaired but unusable. How did you manage to repair it? I have assumed that repairs in ZOC are prohibited. By how I mean which of auto repair from an HQ or with the rail repair unit during movement.


This can be a hex which was repaired and then came into contact with enemy ZOC but was protected by own ZOC so it wasn't captured and destroyed. Recently I had 40+ rail hexes cut of in this way by Soviet tank brigade in my PBEM game, when I pushed them back the rail came online.

Well, it could be such a hex but that would mean that Vigabrand left Cherkassy ungarrisoned, not very likely. This unlikeliness is why I asked in the first place.

The sometimes not all trustworthy manual states explicitly that auto repair will not happen adjacent to enemy units but makes no mention of ZOC.


no that hex was definitely repaired using one of the manual rail repair units - I've done this in a few places where I was pretty sure I was going to use the next hex as an obvious target. The auto repair can't happen adjacent to an enemy unit but is certainly jumping to non-connected (but adjacent) hexes

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Post #: 508
Turn 132: 23-29 December 1943 - 2/24/2016 4:31:00 PM   
loki100


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Turn 132: 23-29 December 1943

Both north and south of the Pripyet, the Germans only managed very localised offensives. At the same time the partisan assault on their rail net continued. If this failed to isolate any sector, the continuous disruption made it hard for them to shift formations to meet the emerging, multiple, threats being created by the Soviet offensive.

Operation Kutuzov

The fighting east of Minsk slowly developed its own dynamics. The German defences facing 1 Baltic Front were mostly too strong for the Soviets to make any progress. However, on the flanks facing 2 Baltic and Western Fronts they were able to create strong points but the Soviet commanders were able to shift the focus of their attacks to find the weak spots.

In the north, 2 Baltic Front stormed the rail junction of Glubokoe. While no longer of particular value to the Germans, to Stavka this was the first time that Red Army troops had crossed the old 1939 Soviet border.



Further south, elements of 1 Baltic and Western Front co-operated in eliminating the last German toehold on the Berezina. The renamed 5 Guards Army (previously the 31 Army) completed this sequence of attacks, leaving the German units risking encirclement.




(IS-2 of 5 Guards Army moving up to the front)

In turn this allowed Western Front to renew its attempt to unhinge the German line to the south of Minsk. In heavy fighting, the cavalry-mechanised formation of 4 Army drove back 41 Panzer Corps.


at3

For the moment, Stavka was content that the offensive was making some gains and, more importantly, pinning down substantial German armoured formations. Near Riga, Volkhov Front deployed to its assault positions but was not committed to action.




Operation Suvorov

To the north of Kiev, 3 Ukrainian continued to make rapid progress. 40 Army crossed the Pripyet and then the Tank Armies swung south. The Shock Armies and Stavka artillery reserve followed as quickly as they could while elements of Bielorussian Front provided flank protection.




(ISU-152 near Chernobyl)

To the south of Kiev, Stavka had to decide how to exploit the initial gains. Combined, 1 Ukrainian and North-Caucasus Fronts deployed 5 Tank and 3 Cavalry-Mechanised Armies. One option was to split these up with North-Caucasus trying to cut off the axis units falling back from the Dneipr bend while 1 Ukrainian struck north towards Kiev.

At the moment, Soviet reconnaissance suggested that all the German mobile units in the Ukraine were to the south of Cherkassy.

As a result the Soviet front commanders were ordered to redeploy. The rifle formations of 4 Ukrainian and North-Caucasus Fronts were to screen the German deployments to the south of the Cherkassy while the mobile formations swung north to try and join up with 3 Ukrainian Front.

The opening blow was struck by 34 and 50 Armies as they expanded the bridgehead and forced the Germans north of the Ros. By 25 December, the armoured formations of 1 Ukrainian Front had broken through the German lines to the south of Kiev.







Both sides took heavy losses. The Germans lost 40,000 men (16,000 kia), 105 tanks and 165 planes. The Soviets lost 53,000 men (28,000 kia) and 240 planes. However, now that the tank armies had out-run their infantry support, Soviet tank losses escalated to 900.

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Post #: 509
RE: Turn 132: 23-29 December 1943 - 2/24/2016 4:48:19 PM   
jwolf

 

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I'd be a little nervous driving a tank across that patched up bridge ...

Are you focusing heavily on the Pripyat region during the frozen season, that is on the theory you can take ground now that the Germans won't be able to threaten once the terrain reverts to swamps?

The region south of Kiev looks to be shaping up into a serious battlefield. I wonder if the Germans are preparing a massive counterattack there.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 510
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