From: Utlima Thule
T11 - 31 August 1941
So before moving on to the silly mistakes and Soviet nasty moves section. Worth a brief detour to logistics.
Here's the second advantage of a super-depot, Minsk has steadily released all that stored freight and its now located in my depots behind Smolensk.
This trick of building up a stock, leaving the HQ (for the capacity) and moving forward can really keep a large block of freight on a relatively narrow sector. Its actually even more important for the Soviets from 1943 onwards.
So AGN, gave up on the driving tour of the Valdai, I'll redeploy LVII Pzr where it will do more good, but 16 A is well dug in and I have some ground that I can trade off in the winter if I need to.
Another Soviet retreat at Leningrad, am using my infantry to secure my flank on the Volkhov, more usefully have cut the rail link (even if I couldn't occupy the hex). Using the supply soft factor and it looks like the Soviets have their own problems here (predictably), also most retreats escalate to routs.
I don't think there is any realistic chance of taking the city but I was more deterred by the original defence in depth than by one based on large stacks and not much room to retreat. Both the armies here are on assault and I can regain CPP fairly quickly.
Forgot to mention - this sort of thing went on whilst I wasn't looking.
So AGC relied more on its infantry for this turn, letting as much of the mobile units have a rest, especially after some bruising Soviet attacks, as possible, I'm happy enough with a hex row a turn advance on Vyazma, especially given the number of routs but PG2 really needs to be able to make real progress.
Am finding these sustained infantry offensives to be very effective at this sort of operation (given the terrain and the Soviet defensive layout its not as if I am going to gain much manouver space). If you have a division in an assault army, attack once and then don't move (& rest in a non-ZOC hex), you regain 25 CPP for the next turn. That creates the ability to sustain the momentum, so I'm using the infantry in PG3 for this and letting 9A occupy the new front line (as their CPP regain is so much less in any case).
AGS is strung out. 6A covers a long flank north of the Dnepr – not too worried here as 4A is probing at the west side of this salient and its vulnerable to my mobile units making progress towards Kharkov.
Decided just to take Dnepropetrovsk, it only had a single division in defense so no real gain to constructing a pocket.
Not shown but also forced the Dnepr opposite Kherson.
Wider picture. Usual approach of let one Pzr corps rest, use the others. Managed to break through north of Dnepropetrovsk and then risked a deep salient. Its vulnerable but I have fresh infantry arriving so if I need to free up a pocket I can with some ease. Some holds but generally the Soviet formations collapsed on contact. Also undermines the Soviet defensive line along the Dnepr.
Have a choice next turn of Kharkov or the Dombas.
Losses – much the same as usual. I remain worried at the relative lack of pockets but Comrade S is proving very tricky to pin down.
Air losses – a lot more clashes that turn, note that the Mig-3s have been committed – to little effect.
Think not doing any recon is a bit risky, especially with Pzr corps off the line (& not shown in any of the images above).
OOB, not much changing but at least the Red Army isn't able to grow with 100k+ losses per turn.
Managed to finally find the AP to start swapping out the weaker Corps commanders.
VP situation. My focus is on matching the HWM for January 1942 and only 30 short. A combination of Zaporozhye, Kharkov and Stalino should deliver since the Theatre boxes are pretty stable.
My logic here is this puts me into a degree of control over the autumn-early winter battles. I actually think its a mistake for the Axis to opt to defend in that period but clearly there is a difference between picking how you attack and having to do so in a desperate search for VP.
Realistically, if there is any chance of a clean victory, best to look towards late 1942.
Have now lost 25,000 trucks but have been given 15,000 as gifts from the Soviet Union.
A lot of the stuff I borrowed from the French seems to have broken down.