Turn 10: 24-31 August 1941
Strategic Situation Review
Generalfeldmarschall Walther von Brauchitsch (Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres) and Generaloberst Franz Halder (Chef des Generalstabes des Heeres) are discussing the strategic situation with the Führer
Strategische Situation im Osten
After 9 weeks of hard fighting it is clear that the Wehrmacht has performed admirably and the Red Army is all but crushed. Our armoured spearheads have driven deep into the USSR and are on the door of Moscow and Leningrad. The strategic aim of Unternehmen Barbarossa was and still is the destruction of the Red Army and the Soviet ability to wage war and the capture of Leningrad and Moscow.
4.Panzerarmee has to a large extent manage to isolate Leningrad, although the city is well defended and will not fall without significant effort from our part. For this reason 18.Armee and 16.Armee have already started preparations for a siege and we expect the city to fall within the next few weeks. 4.Panzerarmee will clear the shores of Lake Ladoga, thus ensuring the complete isolation of the city and I Fliegerkorps will establish air superiority over the greater area to ensure unhindered operations from our bombers.
Destroyed buildings in Leningrad
On the Moscow area Operation Rheingold has been a resounding success managing to destabilise the enemy positions. Repeated armoured thrusts have managed to isolate the majority of the enemy formations in Vyazma and Borodino, but more Red Army units are entrenching in the approaches to Moscow. OKW has provisionally approved Operation Siegfried, the encirclement of the Greater Moscow Area by 3.Panzerarmee and the details are currently put in place. This massive pincer and the subsequent capture of the city are expected to be completed by the end of September. Infantry support will be paramount as enemy resistance will most probably be fierce.
Advanced units of 39.Pz.Rgt. of 17.Pz.Div. on the outskirts of Orel
2.Panzerarmee will attempt to encircle the majority of enemy formations located between Tula and Kursk, thus eliminating any possible enemy threat to the flanks of 3.Panzerarmee. OKW believes that as soon as the enemy formations beyond the Oka are eliminated the entire Central Front of the enemy will collapse and Moscow will be left to fend with whatever units are already available in the city.
PzKpfw III of 33.Pz.Rgt. of 11.Pz.Div. advancing through a village in the outskirts of Kharkov
After the capture of Kursk and the isolation of Kharkov, 1.Panzerarmee will swing south, cross the Donets and drive deep in the enemy's rear towards Salino and Rostov. This will force the enemy to either fight for the industrially important Donets Basin region and subsequently being encircled and destroyed, or retreat beyond the Don.
Up until this point we have suffered 283,492 casualties (121,748 killed, 311 captured and 161,433 disabled) and lost 4,242 Guns, 847 AFVs and 518 airplanes. The Soviets have suffered 2,452,577 casualties (322,308 killed, 1,544,479 captured and 585,790 disabled) and lost 44,879 Guns, 11,138 AFVs and 9,298 airplanes.
Strategische Situation im Westen
In the West the RAF has attempted a number of bombing raids on the continent with varying degree of success. Luftwaffe defence units in France and Germany are making these raids very costly for Bomber Command but still despite all our efforts some bombers do pass through and cause damage.
RAF Bombers on their way to targets in Germany
In the Atlantic Ubootwaffe is fighting hard against allied convoys, but its job is getting more difficult due to the US Navy's recent policy to provide escort to both inbound and outbound convoys until the Azores. Nevertheless despite the enemy's efforts the Ubootwaffe has managed to sink 1,626,114GWT of enemy shipping in 1941 for the loss of 16 U-Boats.
Norwegian Tanker SS Pendrecht burning after being attacked by KptLt Herbert Schultze in U-48 on 8 June 1941
Strategische Situation in Afrika
In North Africa Panzergruppe Afrika is reinforced with 15.Pz.Div. and General der Panzertruppe Erwin Rommel is expected to initiate operations aiming to push the British back to Egypt. Although this front is of secondary priority OKW hopes for a swift drive to Alexandria that could put the Suez Canal out of action and cripple the British war effort.
PzKpfw IV of 15.Pz.Div. arriving in Tunis
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