AGN & AGM Dec 7
High -20 Low -28 windchill -40
I've caught up to where I am in the playtest, just before the impending drama of the Soviet winter counter-offensive in front of Moscow. At least I now have a slightly "positive" setting with Hitler and I took the opportunity to finally have PzGrp 4 operate in AGM without penalties. Two decisions made early in the campaign are paying dividends with increased oil supplies on hand: the Ploesti oilfields were expanded to increase production and more German locomotives were converted to coal-burning.
In the north Mannerheim has finally relented and allowed Finnish units to advance beyond their 1940 borders. The main benefit of this for us will be the ability to launch concentric attacks on Leningrad and possibly capture it at last. But below this area a major Soviet offensive has broken out south of Novgorod across Lake Peipus with over 200 tanks. With great effort this breach was sealed and other units are en route to deal with the surrounded tank and mech units, distinct echoes of General Vlasov's doomed offensive. The other Soviet offensive out of the Valdai Hills is also continuing.
They're no longer celebrating at the Wolfsschanze as a series of sledgehammer blows have come out of nowhere as dozens of fresh Siberian divisions, all in white camo smocks and effective winter clothing and many on skis, tore into our lines and drove us back. Moscow had to be abandoned. I've argued with von Brauchitsch, supported by von Bock, that we pull back to a more rational front and go on the defensive but the Führer will have none of it. We were barely able to talk Hitler out of sacking Guderian on the spot. And so, quietly, I have informed all Armee CO's to pull back in small increments and to assume a defensive posture as they see fit. Most divisions are being driven back by force in any case, with many positions completely overrun. The meteorological report for this area: light snow, poor visibility, temperature -20 C with windchill -40 C. In game terms many units were paralyzed and fixed in place, unable to move or attack and with degraded defense suffering -130 APs and -65 morale (!).
[From my own experiences, in general Canadians are more accustomed to super cold winters than most, along with Russians, Scandinavians and Alaskans. Even so, it was not until I worked north of the Arctic Circle in the Yukon one long winter in my younger years that I got a full taste of what the Germans went through near Moscow. When it is that cold (we are speaking about a windchill of -40C) it is all you think about if you're not in a heated room. It's a constant aggressive assault on body and mind, and if you are in fierce winds to boot things will quickly get desperate. Fall asleep, collapse from exhaustion, or get drunk and pass out in this, and you're a goner. If you have facial hair your face will become a frozen mask from breath condensation instantly freezing, and in any sort of wind your cheeks, nose and ears if exposed will get frostbite rapidly; however your extremities are the biggest vulnerability and no amount of insulation is ever really enough. Even the best state of the art insulating clothing will just delay the inevitable for only so long as high altitude climbers know and understand very well, especially those missing fingers and toes.]
A breakthrough at Bryansk has been sealed off. The Russians are adept at moving cross-country, even with snow storms raging. My forebodings have been borne out. Game-wise I will be setting all armies in AGM to a defensive posture asap. My goal has been "Moscow or bust!" Ja! und so we got Moscow and bust: last turn we had a taste of Moscow and this turn we're busted!
Note that many darkened German units are in fact immobile given the extreme winter weather.
< Message edited by Staufenberg44 -- 7/12/2020 2:05:05 AM >