Maybe I'm wrong and I welcome any comment, but if I were the Soviets I would not defend the landbridge that way, first I would not stick my neck out like that attacking the panzers spearheads and I would put most of those units on the Dvina line around Vitebsk and same for the Dnepr and Smolensk, and I would leave the landbridge only lightly defended, the units stationned there only job being to delay a bit the germans for a turn. It will funnel the attack in a place where the german doesn't have a choice to guard his flanks if he wants to bypass, and where he will also be very near the end of the supply leash. Of course the west-east path to Velikye Luki should be well guarded too, not open like in the Brief encounter game.
If the German wants to get rid of those guys each side of his spearheads, he will have to attack them in strong defensive positions. Else he will have to guard his flanks for as long as they are there, which will delay some more.
And once those Soviet troops are in real danger, retreat, IMO the angle of Velikye-Luki-Lovat and marshes-upper Dvina is a defensive dream against a western or southern attacker. I would protect that as long as I can. And same for the Dnepr, only let go once it is breached or endangered by flanking movement. Defend Smolensk it is a big key of all that position. And once you give ground south of Smolensk, German supplies also become difficult for a while there.
< Message edited by joelmar -- 6/4/2019 8:40:50 PM >
"The closer you get to the meaning, the sooner you'll know that you're dreamin'" -Dio