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RE: Turn 132: 23-29 December 1943

 
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RE: Turn 132: 23-29 December 1943 - 2/24/2016 5:27:59 PM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

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.


Wait till I get some pictures of Kravchenko's model of crossing rivers with T-34s

I did a lot of thinking during the long lull about which Front to use where. One option was to add 3 Ukr (the old SW Front) to 1 Ukr+N Cauc in the centre. That would have created a fist with about 80% of my armour and the 2 shock armies would have improved the impact of my rifle formations.

In the end, I was worried that it would be relatively easy to absorb and for the Germans to pull back around it.

So the options were to add it to the far south - advantage was the capacity to encircle the Axis units in the Dneipr bend but I would have had awful supply (even if I'd used all my RR repair units to help out).

In the end decided on going into and through the eastern Pripyet. In part its historically where the Soviets turned the Kiev defences and also an earlier AAR by Oshawatt (vs Stef78) where he used that route to deadly effect. The German line was very weak (it has to be somewhere), with the marshes frozen, movement is not that slow. If it works out you can actually get between the German army on the Dneipr and Germany - risky but it can really shake up the front.

In this sequence of fighting, I think vigabrand has lost the ability to deploy his Pzrs away from the infantry. Both in the Ukraine and at Minsk, he seems more pinned down than earlier - I presume this is due to the steady loss on NM. The result is he can't respond as flexibly as before as if he pulled that Pzr Army out from south of Chernigov to deal with my gains towards Kiev his infantry become very vulnerable.

This sequence seems to repeat a few times in the next set of turns, he can't quite free up the infantry from my advances and can't remove the Pzrs to a new location. But its very tense as I am all too aware of the potential to lose some rather valuable units (even with the .08 rules)

On my side I can line up my southern wing with stacks of 2-3 rifle corps, he can beat them and drive them back but its very hard for him to break through and threaten me with encirclement - though I am being very cautious about too much exploitation.

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Post #: 511
Turn 133: 30 December 1943 – 5 January 1944 - 2/29/2016 10:39:15 PM   
loki100


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Turn 133: 30 December 1943 – 5 January 1944

Operation Kutuzov

A sequence of German counter-attacks stalled the progress of 1 Baltic Front. However, to the north 2 Baltic Front continued to make steady gains as did Western Front as it outflanked the German defensive line.



Finally, Volkhov Front joined in the offensive. Its main assault formations managed to capture a small bridgehead around Jekapils but encountered far stronger German defences than had been expected.



Operation Suvorov

In the Ukraine, both wings of the Soviet offensive made steady gains. 3 Ukrainian Front handed over its eastern flank to elements of Bielorussian Front while its main assault formations tried to outflank the German defensive line. To the west, the partisans continued to attack German communication links.


(Partisans ambushing German units in the Pripyet region)

By 4 January, lead elements of 3 Tank Army forced the Uzh threatening to encircle the German positions at Kiev.



To the south, North-Caucasus Front concentrated on expanding the Soviet bridgehead at Cherkassy. While it was only able to make limited gains, it was pinning down the bulk of the German armoured formations in the Ukraine.

At the same time the armoured formations of 1 Ukrainian Front tried to split the German concentration to the south of Cherkassy from their formations at Kiev. Taking advantage of the weak German defences at Korsun, elements of 6 Tank Army [1] were able to strike deep into their rear. Soviet armour managed to overrun a number of Luftwaffe bases and cut the only direct rail connection between the two wings of Army Group South.




(Soviet armour near Kirovograd)

In turn, the other Tank Armies attacked north towards Kiev.



Soviet losses escalated as Stavka demanded the liberation of Kiev and Minsk. The Germans lost 39,000 men (20,000 kia), 60 tanks and 120 planes for Soviet losses of 65,000 men (32,000 kia), 1180 tanks and 340 planes [2]. Soviet tank losses were heavy that some armoured formations now relied on lend lease tanks.



[1] The units rebuilt after the Cherkassy disaster
[2] Thanks to the changes in the recent patch my tank losses go from 500 or so a week to over a 1000. I originally thought this was a one off but its pretty standard (and pretty annoying). The result is my tank/mechanised corps are steadily shrinking while the German Panzer divisions are getting stronger.

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Post #: 512
RE: Turn 133: 30 December 1943 – 5 January 1944 - 3/1/2016 3:07:05 PM   
jwolf

 

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Those are staggering tank losses! I can't imagine you can maintain that pace very long. I'm out of touch with WITE so what has changed recently that has made your tank losses so great?

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 513
RE: Turn 133: 30 December 1943 – 5 January 1944 - 3/1/2016 10:06:09 PM   
loki100


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From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Those are staggering tank losses! I can't imagine you can maintain that pace very long. I'm out of touch with WITE so what has changed recently that has made your tank losses so great?


the new patch has a rule designed to reduce German tank losses in 1941 - not sure why as I've never seen a debate on this issue or anybody raising it as a problem. The impact by this stage of the game is quite silly Soviet tank losses. I am going to run out of tanks in a few months while the German Pzr divisions grow ever larger.

I think its fair to say I am none too happy - not least I really fail to understand what problem this change is meant to be solving, or where the underlying lobbying for such a change came from.

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Post #: 514
Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/3/2016 10:10:14 PM   
loki100


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Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944

Operation Kutuzov

In the north, the relatively static warfare and slow Soviet advance of recent months continued. On the Dauga, Volkhov Front became caught up in a fierce sequence of attack and counter-attack that saw Jekapils change hands twice but dashed any hopes that the Front would be able to break out into Lithuania.

Despite this, its attack had pulled away German reserves around Minsk. To compensate, the German formations facing Western Front fell back. In turn 2 Baltic Front made limited gains as Soviet pressure on Minsk steadily mounted.




(Sturmovik in support of 2 Baltic Front's offensive)


Operation Suvorov

If the war north of the Pripyet was essentially static, that in the Ukraine continued to be one of movement and the clash of armoured forces. 3 Ukrainian carried on trying to outflank the Germans at Kiev while its western flank was protected in part by a massive partisan assault on the German rail net.

The major engagement was the fighting between the exceptionally strong 1 SS Panzer Division and the Soviet tank armies. In the opening battle with 5 Tank Army, the Germans inflicted heavy losses but were forced back. In turn 3 Tank Army moved into the gap torn in the German lines and forced the SS formation to retreat again. Despite this relentless pressure, the Germans were able to retreat in good order.


[1]

Around Chernigov, not surprisingly the Germans sealed off the Soviet raid at Kirovograd. However, to do so had dislocated their front lines and forced them to pull back the Romanian and Hungarian formations on the lower Dneipr [2].

In turn, Stavka shifted the focus of the two main fronts. North Caucasus pushed westwards but was mostly committed to guarding the southern flank of the Soviet salient. 1 Ukrainian swung its armour north in an attempt to join up with 3 Ukrainian.

r


(Katyusha barrage in support of 1 Ukrainian Front)

OOB



Losses were slightly lower than in previous weeks as most of the front north of the Pripyet saw little sustained fighting. The Germans lost 33,000 men (12,000 kia), 100 tanks and 120 planes. Soviet losses were 51,000 men (26,000 kia), 600 tanks and 260 planes.

[1] I realise this has been said, but the ratio of tank losses under the .08 patch are frankly ridiculous. In part Soviet tanks are now very easy to destroy but more importantly the German tanks have become immune to damage. Seems the only way to destroy German tanks is in a pocket, which is not easy when your opponent has around 12 Pzr divisions > 20 cv and 5 > 30.

[2] Again I'm basically trading off a sacrificial unit for gains. In the far south, the two sides are not even in contact, but the Axis have fallen back about 50 miles in the last few weeks. At some stage he'll reach the Romanian border and have to fight. For the moment, I'm content to take the gains and save trucks etc by not moving up units in a region where my rail heads are far behind the front.

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RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/4/2016 12:19:23 AM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

[
[1] I realise this has been said, but the ratio of tank losses under the .08 patch are frankly ridiculous. In part Soviet tanks are now very easy to destroy but more importantly the German tanks have become immune to damage. Seems the only way to destroy German tanks is in a pocket, which is not easy when your opponent has around 12 Pzr divisions > 20 cv and 5 > 30.




I was just reading the AAR and saw the 2 combat messages before reading ur text. 5 lost afvs out of nearly 500 in 2 retreats.... yes yes, there is damaged too and some will be counted as destroyed in later phases, but this is the exactly when german tanks was lost. Hard to replicate history if u tried, as in the retreat to Dnieper in the fall of 1943 with these kinda numbers. Any how apparently u and other noticed too.

Kind regards,
Rasmus

< Message edited by Walloc -- 3/4/2016 12:24:02 AM >

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Post #: 516
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 5:25:04 AM   
Wuffer

 

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walloc, believe me: axis' players trying very hard not to replicate history LOL
Viga achieved where nearly all fail - coming back with more guys than he has started. :-)

Great stuff, Loki, especially pushing forward allthough handicapped with the 'Panzer Problem', like it

A bright side: he can't really allow to counterattack your rifle corps, too expensive.
I wouldn't care to much about numbers, as long you are winning battle and could make progress.

btw, what's with his weak underbelly? maybe the allies could make some sparring partners for our inexperienced tankers?

(and of course you are right, regarding the battle results AND the aborted one, I forget the supply problem, mea culpa)

(in reply to Walloc)
Post #: 517
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 11:28:43 AM   
loki100


Posts: 7074
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From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Walloc

quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

[
[1] I realise this has been said, but the ratio of tank losses under the .08 patch are frankly ridiculous. In part Soviet tanks are now very easy to destroy but more importantly the German tanks have become immune to damage. Seems the only way to destroy German tanks is in a pocket, which is not easy when your opponent has around 12 Pzr divisions > 20 cv and 5 > 30.




I was just reading the AAR and saw the 2 combat messages before reading ur text. 5 lost afvs out of nearly 500 in 2 retreats.... yes yes, there is damaged too and some will be counted as destroyed in later phases, but this is the exactly when german tanks was lost. Hard to replicate history if u tried, as in the retreat to Dnieper in the fall of 1943 with these kinda numbers. Any how apparently u and other noticed too.

Kind regards,
Rasmus


good thing is Morvael accepts that this patch has given too much protection to the German Pzrs. Not sure when .09 is out but I hope I still have some tanks (even better just a few more than the Germans) when it comes out. Frustrating to watch my armoured formations become less useful as the Germans increase in power. On some sectors I've stopped using the tank/mech corps in an attempt to keep the losses under control

quote:

ORIGINAL: Wuffer

walloc, believe me: axis' players trying very hard not to replicate history LOL
Viga achieved where nearly all fail - coming back with more guys than he has started. :-)

Great stuff, Loki, especially pushing forward allthough handicapped with the 'Panzer Problem', like it

A bright side: he can't really allow to counterattack your rifle corps, too expensive.
I wouldn't care to much about numbers, as long you are winning battle and could make progress.

btw, what's with his weak underbelly? maybe the allies could make some sparring partners for our inexperienced tankers?

(and of course you are right, regarding the battle results AND the aborted one, I forget the supply problem, mea culpa)


I think vigabrand has prioritised the 'army in being' concept at several key stages. His reward may come as the front shortens which is why the looming (spoilers I know) 'chaos in the Ukraine' is going to be very important. If it ends my way, he'll have to spread out his front line more than he has so far, if it ends in his favour its going to be very slow going to Berlin.

The stronger rifle corps are really changing my operational approach now. Even in the open, stack a pair and that is near immovable. It is finally giving me flank security to risk pushing my mobile units just that bit further.

I am really tempted by those Romanians and Hungarians. Problem is I would have had to send 1 (at least) repair unit down there in the autumn. As it is my rail head east of the Dneipr hasn't even reached the gates of the Crimea and to the west is about 8 hexes behind the front.

However, I'll have them later . At the moment as I push out from Cherkassy that lot fall back 2-3 hexes. After this turn I even give up trying to chase them to make attacks. Its one of those instances where I think (and I could be wrong) that vigabrand's force preservation approach could backfire. By the end of the winter at this rate of retreat, he'll be back close to the Romanian border. At that stage I have no interest in harming too much of the Romanian army as it will be mine soon enough. So as with the Finns in their northern fortress (guarded by rifle divisions set to 70% ToE), I'm not totally sure what he is 'saving' them for.

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Post #: 518
Turn 135: 13-19 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 11:32:42 AM   
loki100


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Turn 135: 13-19 January 1944

Operation Kutuzov

Here the region around Jelgava again saw fierce fighting between Volkhov Front and the German 40 Panzer, 38 and 7 Infantry Corps. This time the Soviets managed to hold onto the town and 28 Army forced the Dauga to the west.

At Minsk, the strong German defences prevented 1 Baltic making any real progress but 2 Baltic and the Western Fronts made gains on the flanks.



Operation Suvorov

In the northern Ukraine, the Germans finally reacted to the threat to Kiev. The bulk of their armoured formations redeployed from the southern flank of the Soviet forces west of Cherkassy to protect the direct route to Kiev and prevent the risk of 1 and 3 Ukrainian Fronts joining up.


(Elements of 5 Tank Army)

However, they underestimated the extent that Stavka had ordered 3 Ukrainian to try and outflank their defensive line to the west. By the end of the week, elements of 3 and 5 Tank plus 40 Army had cut the Zhitomir to Kiev railline.



To the south, 1 Ukrainian continued with the difficult manoeuvre of disengaging its formations on the southern edge of the Cherkassy salient. This flank was handed over to the North Caucasus Front. In turn 1 Ukrainian was now ordered to join up with 3 Ukrainian sealing the fate of the German units defending Kiev.

Hampered by the clogged roads and strong German resistance



I Ukrainian made little real progress. However, by the end of the week most of its formations were moving to their new locations. The last rail link from Kiev to Vinnitsa was under under Soviet shellfire as the noose slowly closed.


(Elements of I Ukrainian Front redeploying)



On the lower Dneipr, the two armies effectively lost contact. The Romanian and Hungarian forces in that region retreated faster than the Soviets, lacking mobile assets, could follow up. As a result Stavka, ordered 4 Ukrainian Front to disengage and re-organise. Its relatively powerful infantry formations would be of more value either committed in the Cherkassy bulge or to protect the exposed flanks of 3 Ukrainian.

Trans-Caucasus and 2 Ukrainian carried on following up the Axis retreat. However, both now used a weak line of advanced divisions while their main combat power was held back in reserve.


[1]

Losses for both sides remained heavy. The Germans lost 37,000 men (17,000 kia), 70 [2] tanks and 100 planes. Soviet losses were 67,000 men (29,000 kia, 11,000 prisoners), 1,100 tanks and 280 planes.



[1] In the south I am partly compensating for the problem of my weaker infantry formations (very few Gds Rifle Corps), and the artillery now lagging behind, by using far more planes. Even a few level bombers have been deployed to provide better reach where the front is now very open.
[2] I know I've made this point before, but ….

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Post #: 519
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 1:24:51 PM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wuffer

walloc, believe me: axis' players trying very hard not to replicate history LOL



Hi Wuffer,

I think ur missing my point. While the germans ofcourse wana avoid replicating history, just as the russian wants too or do even better.

Fact is if were to "replay" the fall of 43 within the game model as no german pz division was really surrounded and surrendered in the periode. So tanks/AFVs wasnt lost in that fashion.


The way they toke the casulties/losses has to be in the game model through retreats and combats and to a smaller extended just moving around. So if the game is to model that. Retreats and combat has to give a certain amount of losses/ratio.
2 retreats in the game engine is what in real life operation would be a rapid retreat. Forced or not. That in reality simply is a operation u can study from history and the germans lost generaly quite a bit in that.
Certainly they in general toke more than in more picthed battles.

Then the german migth wana avoid replicating that, but he clearly didnt succede as the russian player had his say in the matter and 2 retreats actually occured. So the german didnt avoid "replicating history", it happenned non the less of his wishes. Albit on a smaller scale these combats says something about replicating history as these are examples that would constitude part of what happened in the fall 43 campaign.
Therefor its interresting to see what the losses are. Clearly IMHO the losses are way to low.

If the germasn wants to avoid replicating history he has to find ways to avoid such results as retreats as it happened in the AAR.


That how ever isnt the question. It is when history replicates it self in the game, does the game/model seem to give casulties/losses that are comparible to similar historic situasions.

As we know losses werent comming through surrenders. So some of the best results u can hope for as russian player is german retreats of pz divs. Non the less the directly permanent loss ratio of AFV losses is 5 to 89 or roughly 18 to 1. Historicly the loss ratio was in the 2-2.5 range. If u here in some of the best possible condition of the engine aka retreat results gets 18-1. There is no way to get to 2-2.5-1, other than "never" using ur tanks as russians. The model doesnt seem much capable of reproducing history even if u purposfully tried.

That is the problem not that germans ofcourse want to avoid replicating history. It is what happens in the model, when it happens any how. That when history does replicate it self in the game, what does the model do then/what are the results.

Any how Morveal tweeked and it seems he will tweek back so lets see where it lands.

Kind regards,
Rasmus

P.S Sorry for the highjack Loki.

< Message edited by Walloc -- 3/7/2016 3:46:42 PM >

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RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 1:34:52 PM   
jwolf

 

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Seems to me the Germans have to fall back out of Kiev, or risk a Stalingrad type of debacle. Unless Vigabrand is immensely confident in the strength of his units at the critical "neck" hexes he is really playing with fire if he tries to hold. But given that some of those are airbases that doesn't look like an SS army in reserve. The only wild card I see is ... could it be that the absurd tank losses have crippled your armored formations into paper tigers while the Germans can still bite?

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Post #: 521
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 2:47:56 PM   
loki100


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Walloc

fully agree, the combat engine has to generate German tank losses for this period. This attack (from the next turn) is the perfect example of what has gone wrong. That PzGr division has just had one beating (in which it lost 5 tanks), so its retreating on the open steppes with a Soviet tank army after its blood. It manages an awesome controlled retreat - losing no tanks at all:




welcome to hijack - one reason for the AARs is to set out issues with the game engine

quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Seems to me the Germans have to fall back out of Kiev, or risk a Stalingrad type of debacle. Unless Vigabrand is immensely confident in the strength of his units at the critical "neck" hexes he is really playing with fire if he tries to hold. But given that some of those are airbases that doesn't look like an SS army in reserve. The only wild card I see is ... could it be that the absurd tank losses have crippled your armored formations into paper tigers while the Germans can still bite?


He's not always the most chatty of opponents so I'm not sure. I think he underestimated what I was doing to the north of Kiev, and perhaps even more how far I was prepared to push west before I swung south.

On the other hand, even with his enhanced Pzr divisions, I think he is stretched. He is just keeping me blocked east of Minsk but I reckon he must have all his best infantry and at least half his Pzrs there. If he weakens that, I'll push towards the German border.

In the Ukraine, while he tends to give ground rather than fight, again he's running out of options. If I get to around Lvov, the rivers south of Warsaw are not that reliable for a defense. So I wonder if he felt he had to try and keep me close to the Dneipr? - which would make some sense. But he's now in danger of escalating his losses (I've sent him T142 and things are pretty chaotic)

But the weakening of my mobile formations is critical, its limiting my ability to exploit situations - not least I need to make full attacks where a hasty attack would have been reasonable. Most of my formations are short on tanks which is starting to lower the cv. Even if I am scrapping the tank regiments, mostly for regiments using the SU-76.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/7/2016 2:58:12 PM >


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RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 5:22:52 PM   
Wuffer

 

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Hi Walloc, you are absolutely right of course, should have made clearer that my comments are meant ironic
(the whole engine is sooo 'funny', with the actual Panzer Problem only beeing the icy crown of a huge mountain... But looking at the results, one would exspect the battles are part of a 1750's cabinet war with Fredericus against Austria - on a rainy day with wet gun powder, LOL)

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Post #: 523
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 5:31:04 PM   
Wuffer

 

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Loki,
not matter how disturbing some details, the whole picture is no only ok'ish, but very promisising.

But honestly, I had to admit, I was halfway exspecting a huge pocket... (*evil-smile*), without seeing the big picture it's impossible to say of course, but maybe, just maybe here was an oportunity missed, perhaps he should have striked at the shoulders of your spearhead... but you are to clever now obviously. live
and learn. or you won't live long.

(in reply to Wuffer)
Post #: 524
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 6:43:23 PM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wuffer

Hi Walloc, you are absolutely right of course, should have made clearer that my comments are meant ironic
(the whole engine is sooo 'funny', with the actual Panzer Problem only beeing the icy crown of a huge mountain... But looking at the results, one would exspect the battles are part of a 1750's cabinet war with Fredericus against Austria - on a rainy day with wet gun powder, LOL)


Gotcha

(in reply to Wuffer)
Post #: 525
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 7:34:05 PM   
loki100


Posts: 7074
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From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wuffer

Loki,
not matter how disturbing some details, the whole picture is no only ok'ish, but very promisising.

But honestly, I had to admit, I was halfway exspecting a huge pocket... (*evil-smile*), without seeing the big picture it's impossible to say of course, but maybe, just maybe here was an oportunity missed, perhaps he should have striked at the shoulders of your spearhead... but you are to clever now obviously. live
and learn. or you won't live long.


in truth almost every turn I open expecting to find something horrible has happened. I think its getting harder for him to hit back as the rifle corps are a real barrier now and he often needs to use the Pzrs to rescue his infantry - so they are less able to go hunting my tanks formations.

But next turn will feature a grade A, first class foul up ... and all of my own making

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Post #: 526
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 8:05:38 PM   
Wuffer

 

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therefore I like this AAR so much, Loki, you never knows what happened next (and all the peanut audience with their statements proved permanently wrong), the native flavour of firsthand eyperience you know, instead of hollow literaric topoii

... and the fact that you honestly admit your blunders for entertaining us so much *evil-laughter*
i'm ugly, i know- but hey, this is a wargame... about breaking your opponent's will to continue, lol


(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 527
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 8:39:15 PM   
jwolf

 

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quote:


But next turn will feature a grade A, first class foul up ... and all of my own making


In fairness, the real Soviets had more than a few of these. You're doing pretty well IMHO.

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Post #: 528
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 8:42:20 PM   
morvael


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I'm tweaking the numbers and fixing bugs in the system. IMHO it will be better in the second iteration than in the first.

quote:

- Reduced base chance for counterattack to 25%, and for fighting withdrawal to 50% (both by 25%). Maximum chance capped at 95%.
- Removed extra protection from German and Finnish AFVs in combat, it is no longer required with the introduction of combat events.
- Soviet repair modificator will be slowly increased with each passing year after 1942.
- Reduced protection of all elements when light post-combat losses are resolved (in case of fighting withdrawals and failed attacks without a counterattack), especially vehicles. Element’s reliability will now play a role in this as well.
- Fixed a bug in calculating average experience of each side in combat (for the purposes of combat events), where each unit had a weight of one instead of weight based on the number of elements in that unit.


I think those changes would allow for a more reasonable loss exchange, especially in late war (with better Soviet repair and worse reliability of Panther and Tiger tanks than Pz IVs), while still maintaining improved loss ratio.

By the way - counter of men "damaged" and "lost" is not precise, because actual losses are lower. These numbers come from elements damaged and lost times number of men in that element. Actually some men are killed, some captured, some disabled and some are just sent back to pool for use during next turn replacements. Thus, number of men damaged and lost shown in combat reports is a bit higher than it should be.

Also, AFV are not just tanks. I decided to put there all kinds of vehicles, as they are not men and not guns either, but I still want to see them included in strength and loss reports. Therefore SP AA, armored cars etc. are all in this number. There is less tanks in battle than this number shows.

Anyway, 2-3 hasty attacks represent one day of fighting. Apart from too low losses during a fighting withdrawal I think the ratios lost per day of battle are quite reasonable. You can't have so bloody battles that after few hours battle entire units would be gutted. The bigger the battle and more units engaged (sometimes an entire army), the lower the % of losses taken should be.

< Message edited by morvael -- 3/7/2016 8:43:25 PM >

(in reply to Wuffer)
Post #: 529
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/7/2016 9:36:50 PM   
Wuffer

 

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morveal,
thx!

btw, I still think the overall readiness is much to high, too - I would guess that at least a rough quarter to third of the available German panzers were alleays in need of repair and not combat ready, SigUp could probably give us much more insight?

And the russian tanks were definiately not made for eternity, too :-)
(which was wise, otherwise the Germans would have (ab)used them)

sry for OT


(in reply to morvael)
Post #: 530
RE: Turn 134: 6-12 January 1944 - 3/10/2016 11:27:54 AM   
loki100


Posts: 7074
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Wuffer

therefore I like this AAR so much, Loki, you never knows what happened next (and all the peanut audience with their statements proved permanently wrong), the native flavour of firsthand eyperience you know, instead of hollow literaric topoii

... and the fact that you honestly admit your blunders for entertaining us so much *evil-laughter*
i'm ugly, i know- but hey, this is a wargame... about breaking your opponent's will to continue, lol




Its also a case of thinking about how to present the other side. Clearly in a vs AI game that doesn't matter, you can create whatever fiction fits your story. In a PBEM, especially with open AARs that I tend to write, its a real issue (at least to me). Clearly I don't know why my opponent does something, not least in a lot of situations what may look like a mistake actually could have been the least worst option open to them. So you have two options.

One is to share the AAR thread. I did this with 3 AARs against Narwhal (active on the AGEOD) boards. An example is here. That has lots of advantages for the reader - the players can indulge in trash talk in the knowledge that the dialogue is even (the other two are actually full of insults and allegations), and there is no harm to presenting a completely one sided view (even slightly made up) as the readers get both sides and can usually work out what is going on. The problem is of course its hugely timeconsuming - not just that you both need to do an AAR but you both need to put in the posts more or less in order.

The other is what I try to do here. I can show where my opponent (I think) did something astute and I can be clear where I've made a mistake. I feel more comfortable with that, as otherwise by its nature the AAR is essentially a one sided perspective.

quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

quote:


But next turn will feature a grade A, first class foul up ... and all of my own making


In fairness, the real Soviets had more than a few of these. You're doing pretty well IMHO.


Oh this is a good one, 2 Mech Corps storm off to their glorious doom, and its not because Vigabrand managed to commit to a major counterattack

quote:

ORIGINAL: Wuffer

morveal,
thx!

btw, I still think the overall readiness is much to high, too - I would guess that at least a rough quarter to third of the available German panzers were alleays in need of repair and not combat ready, SigUp could probably give us much more insight?

And the russian tanks were definiately not made for eternity, too :-)
(which was wise, otherwise the Germans would have (ab)used them)

sry for OT



I'll say no more on the tank/afv loss issue. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the Soviets built a T34 to operate for about 9 months. Chances of it lasting that long undestroyed were remote but by that stage poor production standards and poor maintenance would wreck it in any case. Of course, the other side was they were built for relative ease of minor repair and reconditioning.


_____________________________


(in reply to Wuffer)
Post #: 531
Turn 136: 20 – 26 January 1944 - 3/10/2016 11:33:58 AM   
loki100


Posts: 7074
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
Status: online
Turn 136: 20 – 26 January 1944

Operation Kutuzov

Several key armies were rewarded for their contribution. 2 Baltic Front's 22 Army became 6 Guards Army and Western Front's 3 Army was designated 7 Guards Army.


[1]

On the Riga sector, Volkhov Front exploited a gap in the German defences to commits its mechanised formations. The spearheads almost reached the Lithuanian border but were left badly exposed when 28 Army failed to broaden the breach.


[2]

Despite this setback, 1 Shock Army at Jekapils managed to extend the Soviet bridgehead, threatening the collapse of the entire German line on the lower Dauga.

At Minsk, the three Soviet Fronts continued their offensive. On the northern flank 2 Baltic took advantage of the weakening of the German lines as they had pulled off their reserves to contain the Volkhov Front. I Baltic had redeployed in the previous week and an offensive led by 20 Army, in turn, enabled 5 Guards Army to almost isolate the German armour east of the city.



The problems for the Germans increased when Western Front launched an offensive along a 40 mile front. This culminated in the cavalry-mechanised elements of 4 Army breaking through and almost reaching the 1939 Bielorussian border.




(Evacuating Soviet wounded after the offensives east of Minsk)

Operation Suvorov

In the Ukraine the Germans made some limited counter-attacks on 3 Ukrainian and North Caucasus Fronts. More importantly they abandoned Kiev and on the 21st elements of the 26 Army entered the capital of the Ukraine.

In order to secure the Soviet lines of communication, 61 Army launched a massive attack on the isolated 293 Infantry division.



For the first time the Germans had actually abandoned a unit cut off by a Soviet offensive and this was the first time a German unit had surrendered.

After several weeks of reorganising, the Soviet Fronts west of the Dneipr were finally in a position to renew their offensives. North Caucasus struck at the German formations on the southern flank of the Cherkassy bulge. At the same 1 Ukrainian shifted direction and attacked westwards trying to cut off the German attempt to retreat from Kiev. By 25 January, advanced elements had broken clear through the German lines and overran a number of Luftwaffe bases.


[3]

As a measure of the growing chaos behind the German front, 40 Army struck at Zhitomir. Not only was it only defended by several security regiments, as Soviet cavalry fought their way into the city they over-ran the headquarters of Army Group South.


[4]

3 and 5 Tank Armies then exploited this victory by swinging west before attacking to the south. At Popelnya, the advanced guards of 1 and 3 Ukrainian met, cutting off all the German formations retreating from Kiev.


[5]


(Soviet tanks near Popelnya)



Still a huge German army with almost .9-1 AFV ratio, but at least one unit is now going to be sat in Germany eating up reinforcements and arms points for a few turns. However, Finland is effectively out of the war and around 12 German divisions are helping them guard their fortress. I am screening this with 3 weak armies (almost no support units and the ToEs at 80%) so around 250,000 men (and am bombing them using the U2s).

Losses were heavy on both sides. The Germans lost 53,000 men (18,000 kia and 15,000 prisoners), 80 AFVs and 330 planes (many destroyed on their airfields). Soviet losses were 60,000 men (31,000 kia), 650 AFVs and 300 planes.


[1] Ironically 3 Army has no combat formations under its command. It is in charge of the Front's artillery assets. Also the rifle corps in 1 Ukrainian and North Caucasus Fronts are slowly reaching Guards status which helps increase the threat on that sector
[2] The more astute of you will spot I perhaps got the sequence of movement and attack rather wrong in this instance.
[3] This shows the positions before I started moving 3 Ukrainian to the north. Note all those nice undefended air bases (and all their planes have been heavily committed to the earlier fighting).
[4] I used an entire army as I didn't trust my recon. Taking Zhitomir would significantly undermine any German attempt to shore up their front on this sector (regardless of how much escaped from Kiev), it also cleared the way for the rest of the armour to swing west behind the Germans. That I displaced AGS was an unexpected bonus.
[5] I think for once showing the actual map makes things more clear than a simplified version. There is no way will that pocket hold but the Germans now have the problem of both defending their rear and protecting the infantry falling back from Kiev.

This sets up the (ongoing) sequence of chaotic battles that will sprawl across the northern Ukraine for the rest of the winter. It also fits into my basic plan that if I can make the Pzrs move/attack in their turn I face few reserve reactions in my turn.

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(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 532
RE: Turn 136: 20 – 26 January 1944 - 3/10/2016 11:58:56 AM   
SigUp

 

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Weak German forces in the region Zhitomir-Korosten possibly opening up the road to Rovno and a strong German balcony from Zhitomir southwards. Now, where have I seen that before?

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 533
RE: Turn 136: 20 – 26 January 1944 - 3/10/2016 12:12:18 PM   
loki100


Posts: 7074
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From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: SigUp

Weak German forces in the region Zhitomir-Korosten possibly opening up the road to Rovno and a strong German balcony from Zhitomir southwards. Now, where have I seen that before?


aye, what I need to do is to disentangle 3 Ukr from the Kiev battles to go west. I'm extracting 4 Ukr from the south - its doing nothing useful as the Romanians/Hungarians are just pulling back. I'll then use that to attack the Germans south of Zhitomir as it will both save my tanks and in any case its going to become the sort of battle where the Rifle Corps is king. But it'll take me a few turns to get everything into position.

But the map onto the historical situation is uncanny, but if Vigabrand wants to hit back he either needs to weaken north of the Pripyet or find some way to free up his Pzr divisions.

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(in reply to SigUp)
Post #: 534
RE: Turn 136: 20 – 26 January 1944 - 3/10/2016 1:30:47 PM   
jwolf

 

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Why all the artillery in the frozen swamps about 10 hexes NW of Kiev?

Displacing AGS HQ was a nice touch. I'll bet that got their attention.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 535
RE: Turn 136: 20 – 26 January 1944 - 3/10/2016 3:23:36 PM   
loki100


Posts: 7074
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

Why all the artillery in the frozen swamps about 10 hexes NW of Kiev?

Displacing AGS HQ was a nice touch. I'll bet that got their attention.


They were starting to lag behind and are no use unless I can bring them up to the front with at least 6 MPs. So I'm letting them rest on a rail line till the front solidifies. Rather than move them a few hexes a turn I tend to move them by rail once there is a decent distance of converted hexes for them to move up onto. Its one reason I've added more airpower to the Ukraine as I am outrunning my artillery formations.

I'm leaving a lot in the S Ukraine well to the rear now as well. The Axis forces down there clearly don't want to fight, they fall back according to the battles in the C Ukraine so I am saving trucks by leaving most of my formations on the repaired rail lines.

I was very surprised to find it there ... not sure I did any real damage (though it probably had quite a few repair assets) but its quite fun to over-run something so high up the command chain. All I got before the attack was a '?' which is why I was very suspicious the city was defended by something more than a couple of security regiments.

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(in reply to jwolf)
Post #: 536
RE: Turn 136: 20 – 26 January 1944 - 3/10/2016 4:06:26 PM   
jwolf

 

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quote:

not sure I did any real damage [to AGS]


As I recall the HQ itself doesn't really take losses, but supply distribution and especially support unit commitments are seriously diminished as a result. Is this correct?

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 537
RE: Turn 136: 20 – 26 January 1944 - 3/12/2016 7:48:57 AM   
loki100


Posts: 7074
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
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quote:

ORIGINAL: jwolf

quote:

not sure I did any real damage [to AGS]


As I recall the HQ itself doesn't really take losses, but supply distribution and especially support unit commitments are seriously diminished as a result. Is this correct?


I know you can wreck the supply dumps and bounce the HQ so that it doesn't act as a supply funnel for its units. I think you can damage the attached SUs (I've certainly lost both parts and all of SUs) but not sure if that only happens if the HQ is displaced when cut off?

In either case, I doubt that AGS is doing much that is important - its probably still in command range for its attached army HQs and I guess if there were any SUs they would be rail repair formations.

More its just a very pleasing thing to have done - after enduring 1941 and 1942 its rather nice to be over-running my opponent's rear bases and HQs

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(in reply to jwolf)
Post #: 538
Turn 137: 27 January – 2 February 1944 - 3/12/2016 10:43:32 AM   
loki100


Posts: 7074
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Utlima Thule
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Turn 137: 27 January – 2 February 1944

This week saw a major reorganisation of the Soviet command structure. The armies drawn into Stavka reserve when the Bryansk Front had been disbanded were increasingly in action in support of 3 Ukrainian Front. Accordingly Stavka raised a new Front command to control this sector, designated 2 Bielorrusian Front. Also Konstantin Rokossovsky was promoted to take command of the Western Front as Stavka sought a decisive victory at Minsk.

Operation Kutuzov

Here a major commitment of the German reserves tried to ensure that 2 Shock Army was cut off. However, a combination of 28 Army breaking their front line and a paratroop drop at least opened a line of communication to the isolated formations.



Around Minsk, Soviet pressure steadily mounted. Here the bulk of the German reserves had been drawn off to deal with the crisis at Riga.




(fighting on the outskirts of Minsk)


Operation Suvorov

To deal with the Soviet gains in the previous week, the Germans redeployed all the armoured formations that had been holding back North Caucasus Front. Briefly the tables were turned as this time the Soviet armour, especially on the upper Skvirka, were cut off.



However, the German position remained weak, especially as they were falling back with no prepared defensive positions. 7 Tank Army not only broke through to the Soviet tankers but also cut open a 30 mile gap in the German front line.




(elements of 7 Tank Army in action)

2 Tank Army then struck north, again cutting off the German infantry falling back from Kiev. In turn, 1 Tank Army moved through the gap torn by 7 Tank. With 3 Tank attacking from the north, the Germans faced the risk of a dual encirclement but a last ditch defence by IX Corps was just sufficient to keep open the lines of communication.



To the south, 4 Tank Army also attacked and threatened to cut off the German Panzers that had earlier encircled the Soviet armour.



With their armoured reserve gone, the German line in the south started to fall apart as the Cavalry-Mechanised elements of North Caucasus Front drove south and west.



OOB



Losses continued to be heavy. The Germans lost 50,000 men (26,000 kia), 80 AFVs and 90 planes. Soviet losses were 62,000 men (33,000 kia), 1,100 AFVs and 330 planes.


< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/12/2016 10:44:27 AM >


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(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 539
RE: Turn 137: 27 January – 2 February 1944 - 3/12/2016 8:09:15 PM   
Wuffer

 

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that looks ugly for him.
Whenever I started thinking about the right moment to retreat, I came to the conclusion that I should have gone allready long before. ..

(in reply to loki100)
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