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RE: Week 39 - 7/28/2021 5:13:53 PM   
M60A3TTS


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Lots of Army Artillery Regts......do you still have Corps Artillery Regts and BM Howitzer units, or no?

Just curious how you organize the Soviet Artillery units. At-start and via reinforcement seems like the Red Army gets more unit shells than it needs, so there is opportunity to cull toward using tubes you have (vs. Tubes in shorter supply)


Sounds like you're looking for the Soviet Guide to Artillery.

If only I had time to do a proper write-up, but it would probably be several pages long and Dave is sending me back turns generally within 24 hours.


In 1941, most Soviet artillery has experience in the 30s and 40s. Most of the corps and army leaders have low or marginal initiative and infantry ratings that combine to determine whether their units hit what they shoot at. This is somewhat important since artillery with the greater ranges has a significant effect on battle even before the first infantry weapons are fired. Of course in the early going the Soviets lose a lot of battles and each defeat usually means a lot of artillery lost in this way. For this reason, I evacuate to the reserves much of these units. They simply add little value to the combat equation under these conditions much like the air forces.

Once the artillery gets experience into the mid-40's they can start going back into the line with emphasis going to any assault front(s). This is becuause non-assault fronts suffer from the artillery ammo malus that exists until 1944. Assault Fronts end up firing with up to 90% of their capability, so the malus in this case is only a slight impact. All other regular fronts are 60%.

As a general rule, tube for tube German artillery is considerably more effective that the Soviets. The German 150mm guns are crazy good for example. The great equalizer is numbers. The goal here is to answer the German very good artillery of perhaps a few hundred tubes with over a thousand of yours. Many of those tubes you have in a battle will be the organic 82mm mortars of the rifle units but these are short range weapons that are only firing after the bigger guns have done their work. There are also lesser quantities of 120mm mortars and 122mm guns in the divisions as well, but due to the sheer quantity of divisions you're almost always chronically short at least some of these weapons.

To supplement the artillery of the rifle units, we then look at the support units. First, I don't add much if any in the way of mortar units. Those units just compete with the rifle divisions for this resource so it's like robbing Peter to pay Paul. The guns of the artillery regiments are generally based off the pre-war 122mm A-19 field gun and 152mm ML-20 gun-howitzer. Since the larger ML-20 hits with a bigger punch, it pays to look at how many of these are in the support units. In virtually all cases the numbers are between 12-24. I am looking for more than that, so when the 1941 Army Artillery Regiment becomes available in 1941 with 36 tubes, it becomes possible to start putting more significant firepower down range.

This is where I start to cull the herd of support units with the ML-20s. All BM Howitzer units with them are disbanded. They only have 24 guns in 1941, dropping to 12 in 1942. I should note here the 203mm BM Howitzer is actually a fine weapon, equaling the performance of the ML-20s. But they come in smaller numbers and are really most suited to supplement the 152mm guns. Any Corps Artillery Regiments that are struggling to fill up with 122mm guns and have the ML-20s are also removed from the OOB.

Since the production of the ML-20 gun-howitzer is only 20 per week, they do require some care. That is another reason why I am selective in terms of where they go. The logical place again are the assault front armies with good leaders and which are not often retreating. Generally six of these 1941 Army Artillery Regiments of 36 guns each will go in an assault front army. Give these armies the leaders like Konev, Rokossovsky, Tolbukhin and Vatutin who have combined initiative and infantry ratings of 13 and your artillery has a real chance to shine. When May 1942 arrives, so does Ivan Chernyakhovsky and his combined numbers are 14, matched only by Vatutin and exceeded by Zhukov. It gets better when you pair a strong front and army commander during an attack. Then you can start to see some real results.

To that end, we'll look at an example when it all comes together. Rokossovsky and Zhukov are paired up, German defenders are in an unfortified hex.




Note there wasn't a single Soviet bomber in this fight. The 249 ML-20 howitzers firing at their usual range of 14,100 disrupted almost twice as many ground elements as over 1,600 Soviet rifle squads (the latter of which equates to about 17,000 men. This fight was a one-sided affair with heavy German losses. It isn't a typical battle but it does go to show how if you take time to develop the Soviet artillery arm, it goes from a rather ineffectual mass of men and equipment to a lethal force on the battlefield even before 1943.


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RE: Week 39 - 7/28/2021 5:20:00 PM   
M60A3TTS


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I didn't address the role of the corps artillery regiments in the above post, but they go in the non Assault Front armies. There are generally enough to go around once you add in some of the other support units like Katyusha light rocket regiments. Just keep in mind these artillery SUs will do some damage but are not the heavy hitters you will want in the locations where you really need to win battles.

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RE: Week 39 - 7/28/2021 7:42:07 PM   
Q-Ball


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Good summary, thanks!!!!! Light Rocket Regts make sense to me early, since they appear immediately as Guards formations and can build experience fairly quickly. The only downside is that they are mobile units and truck-intensive, so that's something to watch.

That makes sense on the Mortar Regts; they are not bad units, but totally unnecessary if you don't have enough 120mm Mortars for all the Rifle units.

I feel the same way about AT guns, not sure how you do; AT Regts have a role, but if Rifle Units are short of AT guns I would rather disband Regts. It also saves trucks, since they are mobile units.

_____________________________


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RE: Week 39 - 8/1/2021 12:05:39 AM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 41 - 29 March 1942

A bout of good weather sees an increase in Soviet attacks.




We will end the winter operations with a total of 3.8 million in losses.




Now 5.5 million on the map.


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RE: Week 39 - 8/1/2021 5:31:56 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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Daves overall losses to date are pretty low.

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RE: Week 39 - 8/1/2021 6:15:01 PM   
M60A3TTS


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Yes, he managed his losses rather well in '41 and I didn't surround and destroy a single thing all winter.

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Week 42 - 8/2/2021 12:45:18 AM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 42 - 5 April 1942

Heavy mud almost everywhere. I conduct no attacks at all.




The other side mixes it up with a few attacks in the southern portion of the front.




Truck situation looks good as do the aircraft numbers. I don't think it's physically possible at this stage to run out of IL-2s. Not that I intend how to see if that is indeed possible.




In a city along the Volga, logistics have been put in place to supply the needs of a future front. West of here in terms of depots, there is nothing. Anyone approaching this area will have to start their logistics chain from scratch.



< Message edited by M60A3TTS -- 8/2/2021 2:19:09 AM >

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RE: Week 39 - 8/2/2021 12:54:14 AM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:


Truck situation looks good as do the aircraft numbers. I don't think it's physically possible at this stage to run out of IL-2s. Not that I intend how to see if that is indeed possible.


Your IL-2 squadrons still aren't all full yet ;-P

So looks to me Manpower is still the crux of the Soviet Union. Which makes taking Leningrad and Moscow very important targets if playing for a long game. Although Leningrad is next to near impossible with equal opponents for the Germans.

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Week 43 - 8/3/2021 4:18:05 AM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 43 - 12 April 1942

Mud keeps the number of operations to a minimum. The Axis launch no attacks and does numerous re-supply missions. The Soviet side did 4 local attacks.




The sapper army that was in the vicinity of Orel-Tula moves to the Vyazma Region. The previous area no longer seems in any real danger for the foreseeable future.





Quiet in the far south.




Men on the map growing for both sides. With 300k in the reserves, getting the Red Army to 6 million on map soon will not be an issue.


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RE: Week 43 - 8/3/2021 1:48:39 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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M60

Now that you are into 42 & any concerns or fears you have going into a possible German offense?

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RE: Week 43 - 8/3/2021 4:27:48 PM   
M60A3TTS


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I feel as though I have things largely under control. It will be time soon to start counting the panzers which are visible and see what's missing.

The front lines are pretty stable except for a stretch running from Belgorod to Voroshilovgrad. Naturally I can't be strong everywhere.

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RE: Week 43 - 8/3/2021 6:36:42 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS

I feel as though I have things largely under control. It will be time soon to start counting the panzers which are visible and see what's missing.

The front lines are pretty stable except for a stretch running from Belgorod to Voroshilovgrad. Naturally I can't be strong everywhere.


Yes, from the pictures I agree with you. Dave does pull out some shockers though. So here is hoping for some fireworks in the Spring & Summer :) Good luck to both of you.

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Week 44 - 8/3/2021 7:19:00 PM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 44 - 19 April 1942

Normal rainfall across the front this week. Light mud across a fair part of the map, allowing for some attacks by both sides.

Comrade Stalin had called up Marshal Timoshenko several weeks ago to take over as commander of Southwestern Front. The Germans are clearly reaching the end of their tether and Stalin is insistent that Timoshenko take advantage of this situation as the main combat actions are expected to be in this area.

From Turn 40 actually



Battles this week




The first "Tank Army", the 53rd, is under the command of general Lizyukov. He will be able to support the attacks of Southwestern Front demanded by Comrade Stalin.




OOBs Rising




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RE: Week 44 - 8/3/2021 7:23:20 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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What soft factor are you showing in the picts?

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RE: Week 44 - 8/3/2021 7:33:32 PM   
M60A3TTS


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Supply

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Week 45 - 8/3/2021 8:09:47 PM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 45 - 26 April 1942

Operation Fredericus Opening Phase (Blau I) and response

Kursk Operational Area

It appears that perhaps Comrade Stalin had underestimated German resiliency. As April fades into May, Erich Von Manstein begins a set of attacks in a northern direction, located southeast of Kursk. Weather conditions are marginal.

German mobile forces in the area include III and LVI Motorized Corps. Divisions SS Totenkopf, 2nd, 3rd and 18th Panzer, and 3rd Motorized Divisions are here. German Infantry Corps include IV Infantry Korps led by the highly capable E. Raus and XXX Infantry Corps.

Soviet forces of Southwestern Front (with the historical commanders around this time) refuse to yield ground despite the Luftwaffe's complete control of the air. 28th Army under Dmitry Ryabyshev holds the area of Prokhorovka. Avksenty Gorodnyansky's 6th Army on the left flank of the 28th takes the brunt of von Manstein's attacks, supported by Stuka dive bombers and Ju-88s of Alexander Loehr's 4th Luftflotte. Group Bobkin (2nd Shock Army) is also engaged in the actions of this week. Still not engaged in battle, Kiril Moskalenko's 38th Army along with 6th Army defend the River Oskol from just south of Stary Oskol through Novy Oskol to Volokonovka and Valuyki. Vasily Gordov's 38th Army holds the left flank of Southwestern Front with Lizyukov's tank army in reserve.

Wary of any German plans in this area, Stalin orders 2nd Reserve Army under Vladimir Kolpakchi released from Stavka Reserve with orders to further reinforce Southwestern Front. It is initially deploying at and north of Stary Oskol.




Lizyukov's tank corps supporting Gordov's 21st Army rout a Hungarian brigade. The Luftwaffe again appear in numbers here.







< Message edited by M60A3TTS -- 8/3/2021 8:10:59 PM >

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RE: Week 44 - 8/3/2021 8:10:39 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: M60A3TTS

Supply


Dave has lots of Red on supply Soft factor.

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RE: Week 44 - 8/4/2021 1:31:20 PM   
fighterf4u

 

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quote:

Comrade Stalin had called up Marshal Timoshenko several weeks ago to take over as commander of Southwestern Front. The Germans are clearly reaching the end of their tether and Stalin is insistent that Timoshenko take advantage of this situation as the main combat actions are expected to be in this area.


Are you sure its a good idea to assign the SW Front to Timoshenko at this time of the year considering what happened historically.

< Message edited by fighterf4u -- 8/4/2021 1:54:17 PM >

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Week 46 - 8/5/2021 4:32:08 AM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 46 - 3 May 1942

Operation Fredericus continued (Blau I) and response

Kursk Operational Area


Weather remained marginal for another week as Marshal Timoshenko and Stalin conferred on the local situation. The conversation at times became rather contentious. Guards cavalry of Andrei Grechko with his 3rd Shock Army was attacking well to the west in the area of Bryansk and Central Fronts. Timoshenko repeatedly stated that these forces were needed in his area. What was more, Grechko's cavalry was provided with air support while the Stavka had ordered the aircraft of Southwestern Air Command to remain on the ground. Despite the pleas of Timoshenko, Stalin insisted that he must fight and win with what had been provided to the Southwestern Front.

Along the Donets, elements of Ryabyshev's 28th were pushed back in one area by elements from German IV, V, and XXIX Corps. Again, the Luftwaffe maintained complete freedom of action in the air. In one battle at the town of Korocha, the 283rd and 383rd rifle divisions were attacked by Mackensen's III Motorized Corps and forced to retreat with over 7,700 casualties. Despite the casualties, Ryabyshev launched local counterattacks against the advancing German troops with assistance of Kolpakchi's 13th Cavalry Division. East of this fighting, Gorodnyansky's 6th and Moskalenko's 38th Armies were engaged and in places pushed back onto the western bank of the River Oskol. Here, Timoshenko ordered Group Bobkin with close to one thousand tanks to counterattack the 18th Panzer Division and the supporting 203rd Panzer Regiment with their near-300 tanks. In this action Bobkin was successful, with losses slightly higher than those of the 18th Panzer.








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Week 47 - 8/12/2021 4:32:16 PM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 47 - 10 May 1942

Rain and light mud across most of the front. Some clear weather in the Rostov area.

The Western and Bryansk Fronts resume offensive actions. Bryansk is liberated.




In the Kursk Operational Area, Ryabyshev's 28th Army is exposed to most of the German attacks.




Ground losses this week were not excessive.




Our air losses were heavy this week.




OOB


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Week 48 - 8/13/2021 5:50:50 PM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 48 - 17 May 1942

Clear weather with a combination of clear and light mud ground conditions.


Western and Bryansk Front attacks continued this week.




Kursk Operational Area

Three guards cavalry corps of Andrei Grechko's 3rd Shock Army had been temporarily cut off south of the River Seym but were subsequently rescued by forces under Rodion Malinovsky.






Farther to the east, German attacks of a modest scale took place along the Donets.




Ground Losses




Air Losses



< Message edited by M60A3TTS -- 8/13/2021 5:53:05 PM >

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Week 49 - 8/13/2021 5:58:38 PM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 49 - 24 May 1942


Weather conditions are clear and dry.

Soviet offensive operations ceased this week, as Stavka waited to see what further Axis operations developed along the front. Sporadic German attacks took place in the same general area, Overall, an uneventful week for once.


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Week 50 - 8/13/2021 6:06:30 PM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 50 - 31 May 1842

The calm before the storm?


Weather conditions were again clear. For a second straight week, the Stavka played the waiting game. Timoshenko at the HQ of Southwestern Front located outside the village of Yastrebovko, southeast of Voronezh, had little intel to send to Moscow, other than Manstein and LVI Motorized Corps still remained in his operational area.


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RE: Week 50 - 8/13/2021 10:44:56 PM   
AlbertN

 

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I am impressed by the amount of Soviets and the numbers they muster already in May '42, and the sheer amount of guard units already present too!


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Week 51 - 8/14/2021 6:30:21 PM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 51- 7 June 1942

Weather clear and dry.

Timoshenko was recalled to Moscow at the end of the week. For the next phase of operations, new blood would be required at the Southwestern Front headquarters.




2nd Reserve Army also saw a change of command as Vasily Chuikov replaced Vladimir Kolpakchi.




3rd Reserve Army was also released by the Stavka although General Vatutin voiced reservations to Stalin as to its leadership.






In the Kursk Operational Area, the SS Totenkopf Division advanced to Prokhorovka.




T-34s from Batov's 31st and Rybalko's 3rd Tank Armies were prepared for commitment to bsttle.







< Message edited by M60A3TTS -- 8/14/2021 6:32:07 PM >

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RE: Week 51 - 8/14/2021 6:43:02 PM   
M60A3TTS


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Ground and Air Losses


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RE: Week 51 - 8/14/2021 9:13:25 PM   
freeboy

 

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This certainly looks a lil lopsided

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RE: Week 51 - 8/14/2021 9:48:33 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: freeboy

This certainly looks a lil lopsided


Wait for it, it will seem even more so shortly ;-)

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RE: Week 51 - 8/15/2021 2:50:04 AM   
freeboy

 

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It looks like the red army is painfully strong .. time for a modded morale.. lol

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Week 52 - 8/15/2021 5:10:54 AM   
M60A3TTS


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Week 52 - 14 June 1942

Weather remained clear and dry.

Kursk Operational Area

German attacks turned east while Soviet attacks were focused to their south in an attempt to push German forces off the east bank of the Donets.




3rd Reserve Army, despite a significant manpower advantage, were frustrated during this one engagement. General Vatutin subsequently requested to Stalin that Antonyuk be replaced as he clearly lacked the initiative needed at the moment.




Rostov Operational Area

Here Rumanian and German forces were attacked wherever weak spots were identified.




Ground Losses




Air losses picked up this week


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