In the central sector, the Soviet turn began with large enemy forces massing on both sides of the Denpr near Smolensk. Several of the German armored formations showed better than red fuel, indicating that they would have large movement allowances on the next turn. Organization of the Soviet defenses in this area was poor, with many powerful units transferred last turn from other fronts still reporting to their old HQ’s, far away. All the forces in the vicinity of Bryansk and along the Desna River were still under direct STAVKA control and not backed up by STAVKA air bases, meaning that they were unable to get any air support.
The Luftwaffe took the offensive this turn against the Soviet air force, with considerable success. They ran lots of recon missions, especially in the central sector, and then a series of ground bombing missions along the front. This appears to have been successful in drawing up the Soviet fighters and exhausting their ammo, fuel, or allowable miles. Then, the Germans had enough air power left to lauch damaging raids against airbases defended by fatigued or even grounded fighters. It didn’t help that the Soviet air force began the turn with at least 30 air regiments deployed in forward air bases with morale below 40. Ten or 15 air units started the turn with fatigue above 20. Normally, I start each turn as the Soviets by sending any air unit with <40 morale or >20 fatigue to national reserve. They are just targets for the Luftwaffe if they remain at the front. You can shade a bit on fatigue by setting high-fatigue fighter squadrons to short ranges (40 or so, equals 1 hex), ensuring that they will not fly during your turn and will be ready to oppose any airbase bombing missions in the enemy’s turn.
German air commanders need to tolerate higher levels of fatigue than Soviets (and their pilots can be effective at higher levels of fatigue due to their generally higher experience and morale). Nonetheless, similar rules should apply in their case – find the high fatigue and low morale squadrons at the start of your turn and send them to the reserve for a turn. Then, if they are still bad the next turn, move them to a rear area airbase and let them recover.