From: Virginia, USA
Aug. 27, 1942
Now that I have launched a new offensive I can talk more openly about the progress of this game. (I still can't say everything, however.)
The offensive in the Saransk/Arzamas region was bogging down because of the depth and strength of the Soviet defenders. My own concentration of forces was matched by a Soviet concentration in turn. To achieve such concentration other sectors of the front needed to be weakened, opening them up to a possible offensive. There were several possibilities for a secondary offensive.
1) Saratov. This area is lightly held and at one time had a number of factories that it would have been nice to destroy if our forces were able to reach the objective in time. Unfortunately, the distance to be covered meant it took too long for our infantry to reach this area in a reasonable amount of time, plus there was nowhere to hide the panzers from enemy recon on the open steppe.
2) Ryazan. Not the city itself, but the soviet defenses south of the Oka. This is just a 2 hex deep defense with an open space between it and the Oka. The Oka itself seems as though it is not defended in this area. Yet I question the reliability of our recon since units in forested regions can prove to be exceptionally difficult to detect. Plus, there was the difficulty of trying to hide the panzers.
3) Kaluga/Rzhev. Recon showed soviet forces between these two cities to be rather thin. Of course, I could not be sure about what was hiding in the woods, but it seemed as though there was nothing really behind the front line except some tank brigades serving as reserve forces. What made this area especially attractive was the ability to hide a build up here in the forests. Plus there is a nice open corridor from Rzhev up to Kalinin/Torzhok.
In the end I decided I would attempt an encirclement of the forces between Vyazma and Rzhev. As it turned out, I was not strong enough to achieve an encirclement. Soviet units kept falling back into fortified hexes that did not show up in recon. I guess those forts didn't show up because they did not have any units in them. At any rate, instead of being able to easily overrun the defenders once they were forced out of their front line fortifications, they proved to be rather stubborn obstacles to overcome. In the end, it does not appear we will be able to achieve an encirclement here. But the Soviets now have a second major thrust to deal with, not just the one around Saransk/Arzamas.
< Message edited by CapAndGown -- 6/2/2021 10:57:49 PM >