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Death ride of the Wehrmacht (no guctony please)

 
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Death ride of the Wehrmacht (no guctony please) - 4/8/2021 1:15:29 PM   
CapAndGown


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I have already published the first turn of this game on youtube. The first four episodes may provide a useful introduction to the air game for new players.

I am now picking up this game on turn 2, June 29, 1941

First off, this turn involved pocket clearing. I am very much in favor of cleaning up pockets as fast as possible. This is especially important in the first three turns when rail hexes in the Baltic states have a chance of not being damaged when they flip to German control. All the major pockets in the north and center were almost completely reduced leaving just a few stragglers that will need to be cleaned up next turn.







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Turn 2 continued - 4/8/2021 1:50:51 PM   
CapAndGown


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The other major story of turn 2 was the advance of our panzer units. In the north we advanced to the Velikaya while also converting large swaths of territory to German control. In the center we were able to gain a bridgehead over the Dnepr. In the south we created several small pockets while advancing to within 30 miles of Vinnitsa.





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Turn 2: How'd he do that? - 4/13/2021 1:35:21 AM   
CapAndGown


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June 29, 1941

When I got this turn back I was very surprised to see that the Soviets had encircled a huge chunk of my Panzers in and around Mogilev. I have puzzled over this for 2 days now, but think I finally figured it out: he must have motorized an infantry division. There is simply no other way a Soviet unit, spending four MP per hex could have traveled the distance covered. In the end, I don't think it really cost me much. Indeed, not only did we maintain the bridgehead over the Dnepr, despite having one of our Panzer regiments thrown back a hex, but we extended the bridgehead to include a bridgehead over the Pronya as well. And now the infantry are arriving and will hopefully give my Panzers a much needed rest.





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Turn 2: Pskov - 4/13/2021 1:48:31 AM   
CapAndGown


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In the north we saw our two lead mobile division also encircled. For the most part our mobile divisions did little this turn as we wait for the infantry to arrive.

The double track rail line between Vilnius and Daugavpils was totally repaired this turn and Daugavpils is now a priority 4 depot. The rail line running through Raseiniai and Jelgava up to Riga is also repaired and next turn the port at Riga should be operational, providing another major supply hub for AGN. Next turn the line between Riga and Daugavpils will be repaired, beefing up a supply grid of AGN even further.





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Turn 2: South - 4/13/2021 1:57:08 AM   
CapAndGown


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In the south the Soviets have executed a massive Sir Robin. Only a few units remained behind, perhaps due to limited mobility, unlikely because of they were delaying forces. At any rate there was almost no combat in the south as the Panzers concentrated on gaining ground to clear a path for the infantry while encircling the few Soviet units left behind.





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Turn 4: to the Luga! - 4/15/2021 4:05:00 PM   
CapAndGown


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July 13, 1941

The Soviets left Pskov an open city. I wasn't expecting such easy pickings. At any rate, our panzers made a dash through the light woods towards the Luga while infantry closes in on Talinin.





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Turn 4: center - 4/15/2021 4:11:52 PM   
CapAndGown


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In the center I made a compromise between the need to advance quickly and the need to rest my units. The motorized divisions led the advance while the panzer divisions rested. The panzers need the rest more due to their tanks wearing out. Plus, they represent the real combat power of the Wehrmacht.

Panzer Gruppe 3 will drive on Smolensk while Panzer Gruppe 2 will drive on Gomel. Our FBD is advancing on Gomel from Minsk while in the north we have an FBD advancing from Daugavpils to Vitebsk.





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Turn 4: south - 4/15/2021 4:20:15 PM   
CapAndGown


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I made the same compromise in the south: lead with the motorized divisions, hold back the panzers. This is more critical for Panzer Gruppe 1 since their tank strength is much lower than for the other panzer groups.

Vinnitsa will become our most forward advanced depot next turn.





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RE: Turn 4: to the Luga! - 4/15/2021 5:34:55 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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quote:

ORIGINAL: CapAndGown








Click then event

Then at the top click for the closure

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RE: Turn 2 continued - 4/15/2021 5:37:01 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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What was the defense before the German advance on the picture in post 9. I see in an earlier post a unit or two on the front line. But do you have one of the total defense of the Pskov area before the German Move with recon?

< Message edited by HardLuckYetAgain -- 4/15/2021 5:41:37 PM >

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RE: Turn 2 continued - 4/15/2021 7:25:38 PM   
CapAndGown


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quote:

ORIGINAL: HardLuckYetAgain

What was the defense before the German advance on the picture in post 9. I see in an earlier post a unit or two on the front line. But do you have one of the total defense of the Pskov area before the German Move with recon?


I don't have a copy of the game before movement, but here is a shot of the battles that took place:





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RE: Turn 2 continued - 4/15/2021 7:49:39 PM   
HardLuckYetAgain


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Thank you much! Now I can see what you faced ;-) That valley for the soviets is tricky to defend & was curious what you faced.


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Post #: 12
Turn 5: soviet air activity - 4/18/2021 1:24:57 AM   
CapAndGown


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July 20, 1941

The Soviet air force came alive this turn with some interdiction near Pskov and Kiev. They also supposedly bombed Ploesti, though except for the wrecked aircraft scattered around the Romanian countryside you wouldn't know it.

Somewhat more seriously, the cut off our lead panzers south of the Luga.





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Turn 5: Estonia and Pskov - 4/18/2021 1:47:11 AM   
CapAndGown


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I made my first two leadership changes this turn. Heinrici took over 11th Army replacing Stuplnagel. The new commander of XXXXIII corps is a chap by the name of Schneckenburger. He seems OK, so he will stay. Meanwhile my worst corps commander, Herman Metz was replaced by Hans Kreysing. The men of XXXXIV corps celebrated this change in leadership.

In the north we continued our drive on Talinn, while south of the Luga not much progress was made as we await the arrival of the infantry. We did capture the town of Shimsk on the shores of Lake Ilmen in order to split Soviet forces north and south of the lake.

Our FBD made it to Pskov, though it did not have enough MP left to convert the rail in that hex. Next turn Pskov will be a major depot. I am thinking of diverting the FBD down south to work on rail lines in either the center or south. Pskov should serve the north for a while since I expect progress in this sector to slow down.




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< Message edited by CapAndGown -- 4/18/2021 1:51:03 AM >

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Turn 5: Vitebsk, Mogilev captured Smolensk invested - 4/18/2021 2:13:41 AM   
CapAndGown


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In the center we had two main thrusts: one towards Smolensk led by PzG 3; and one towards Gomel led by PzG 2. Vitebsk and Gomel were both captured. They were lightly held.

An FBD will make it to Vitebsk next turn turning it into a major supply hub. It will take a bit longer before the FBD working its way southeast from Minsk makes it to Gomel. In the meantime I set up a depot at Bobruisk. Even though it doesn't have a rail yard, I wanted a hub closer to the front in order to reduce the wear and tear on my trucks.

Smolensk was surrounded and will be left for the infantry to deal with. I don't know what all is in there, hopefully a lot!

Meanwhile, PzG2, in addition to capturing Gomel drove to the east of the Besed in order to reach the clearer terrain away from the Dnepr. This will open up paths to Bryansk, Orel and Kursk while threatening the northern flank of the Red Army's Southwest Front.





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Turn 5: Odessa invested, next stop Dnepr - 4/18/2021 2:36:38 AM   
CapAndGown


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In the south we continued to drive into empty space. We did capture Kirovograd which was undefended. I used 3 motorized divisions to clear a path for the infantry to advance next turn while the panzers rested for another turn. I put 4 panzer divisions on refit, though I don't know how much good that will do since they are far from the nearest supply depot.

Vinnitsa is now a major depot and the FBD should make it to Fastov next turn. Meanwhile, the Romanian rail repair unit is closing in on Kodyma. I sent it through Beltsy rather than Kishinev since I don't know how long it will take to reduce Odessa.

I expect major opposition at Odessa. I would like to have that port as a supply source as soon as possible. Actually, if we don't get it in the next two turns it won't matter since the front will have moved far beyond the range where Odessa could help. So to see if I can speed up the capture of this major port I have detailed the LIV corps to help in the assault. I temporarily attached it to OKH so I could gain access to the Carl siege mortars. It will be resubordinated to 11th Army next turn.





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Turn 6: Talinn captured - 4/22/2021 12:48:06 AM   
CapAndGown


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July 27, 1941

Progress in the north was generally slow as we waited for the infantry to arrive at the Luga defense line. We did capture Talinn, giving us a port close to the Narva front. The rain is starting in the north and according to the forecast will encompass much of AGN and AGC's operating area. PzG 4 rested this turn. I am pretty much given up using them any more in this sector and will probably move them south starting next turn.

Pskov is now our major depot for AGN. The FBD there was rail south to connect the Vilnius-Minsk rail line. This will then provide two double track lines to Minsk. From there I will probably use that FBD to connect Minsk with Orsha. Meanwhile the FBD working on the Daugavpils-Vitebsk line has finished that section and turned south to connect Vitebsk with Mogilev. And the FBD coming down from Minsk through Bobruisk has almost reached Gomel. From there it will turn northeast towards Bryansk.






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Turn 6: Center - 4/22/2021 12:59:25 AM   
CapAndGown


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In the center, troops from the 9th Army took over the siege of Smolensk. Russians flew in supplies this turn, so I set up an air superiority directive over the hex. Mobile divisions mostly took the week off. Next week there will probably be mud in this area. Hopefully it will not slow us down too much. You can probably guess where we are going.





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Turn 6: Kiev invested; Dnepr abandoned - 4/22/2021 1:22:33 AM   
CapAndGown


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Much to my surprise, the Soviets abandoned the Dnepr. No doubt the threat from the direction of Gomel persuaded them that sticking around was not healthy. In any case, this will make our life much easier. PzG 1 was brought up to 20 miles south of Cherkassy in preparation for crossing the river.





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Turn 6: Odessa captured - 4/22/2021 1:31:37 AM   
CapAndGown


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Another surprise this turn was how easily Odessa fell. I had set up air superiority over the city to stop supplies being flown in, as well as naval interdiction, all in the expectation that the city would hold out for a while. Instead it fell after two attacks: first the Rumanians brought down the forts to level 2 (taking heavy casualties) then the LIV corps with 4 divisions followed up. The defenders all routed rather than surrendered since the hex was not isolated, so we missed out on destroying 9 Soviet divisions. Still, having Odessa as a supply source should help out our drive into the Crimea.





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Turn 7: Kiev and Smolensk - 4/24/2021 11:48:25 PM   
CapAndGown


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August 3, 1941

A month has passed since the start of our invasion of the Soviet Union. On the whole OKH is pleased, though there are some rumblings of dissent, questioning why they have not given up yet. After all, the whole rotten system was supposed to come crashing down like a house of cards once we kicked the door in.

Maybe that crash will happen soon now that we have captured both Smolensk and Kiev. If not, we are prepared to drive ever further into this endless land until the Russians finally admit they are defeated!

Besides the fall of Kiev and Smolensk, nothing much of note happened this turn. Infantry pushed forward while Panzer Groups 1, 2,& 3 all took the week off. In the north Panzer Guppe 4 helped with the offensive towards Leningrad, but the going is slow there due to the poor terrain.






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Turn 8: the Luga front - 4/25/2021 11:20:42 PM   
CapAndGown


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August 10, 1941

The terrain on the approaches to Leningrad is a defender's dream. Our progress here is quite slow. The only positive is that the Narva is open and between it and our main line there are just light woods and light woods stretching up to the hills just south of Leningrad. The Soviets are seem to be throwing everything they have into this sector. While that sucks for AGN, it opens up possibilities in other sections of the front.

The Soviets set up naval interdiction of Talinn. Good move in general, but since that port would not become active until next turn, they tipped their hand a bit early. I moved in the Croatian BF-109s to Talinn to contest this.





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Turn 8: Bryansk - 4/25/2021 11:38:01 PM   
CapAndGown


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Last turn PzG 1, 2 & 3 all rested as the infantry marched forward. This turn they were unleashed.

PzG 2 & 3 moved to form a pocket around Bryansk. The pocket was not closed, but Russian defenses in the center are seriously compromised now. There simply do not appear to be many Russians defenders between Spas-Demansk and Dnepropetrovsk. The Steppe seems pretty wide open while the Soviets concentrate on defending the approaches to Leningrad and Moscow.

The rail line to Smolensk has been repaired and I left the FBD in that hex with the intention of turning into a "super-depot" for one turn. That will be my first "super-depot". Let's see what it does. Meanwhile, Unecha was turned into a depot this turn. I am still more interested in getting depots as close to the front as possible to save on trucks.





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Turn 8: Dnepropetrovsk - 4/25/2021 11:53:14 PM   
CapAndGown


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The thinness of Soviet forces north of Dnepropetrovsk became evident this turn. I was going to set up a regimental defense with my infantry south of the Dnerp stretching all the way to Dnepropetrovsk but then saw a very weak tank division defending a hex to the north of the river and no enemy unit directly to its east. After easily knocking aside this division with a hasty attack across the river I decided to send PzG 1 directly east to form a small encirclement of the divisions along the north side of the Dnepr between Kremenchug and Dnepropetrovsk. I was initially thinking PzG 1 would be heading towards Poltava and Kharkov, but this opportunity to get rid of some of the strong Soviet mobile divisions looked very inviting.





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Turn 8: Kherson - 4/26/2021 12:01:09 AM   
CapAndGown


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The Soviets set up a naval interdiction of Odessa and bombed the crap out of the port. However, their interdiction is no longer showing up. Perhaps because I captured Kherson and that was where they planes were based? At any rate, I moved in a Jagdgeshwaeder to put a stop to that nonsense. Now to get across the Dnepr and into the Crimea!






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Turn 9 - 4/28/2021 12:23:48 PM   
CapAndGown


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Aug. 17, 1941

Not much to report this turn. PzA 1, 2 & 3 rested for the week. Most Soviet units in the pocket around Bryansk managed to escape. Rail line will be at Bryansk next turn.

Denpropetrovsk was abandoned. One unit was left behind in Zaparozhe. The lower Dnepr line was also abandoned as the Soviets retreat into the Crimea. Depot established at Cherkassy. Kirovograd will become a depot next turn, then it is on to Dnerpropetrovsk.

We made a little progress around Leningrad. 4 Army was taken off assault status and 16 Army was moved to assault status instead.

Having 2 double track lines into Minsk did not seem to make a difference. Nevertheless, the rail line from Minsk to Orsha will be completed next turn and then that FBD will be railed back to Pskov where it will build out the rail line to Luga for a more advanced depot. After that I am thinking that FBD will be railed down to the Ukraine to help with the rail situation there. The FBD at Smolensk did not move this turn meaning Smolensk will be a super depot next turn. I will be curious to see how that works out. I am still more interested in moving the rail heads closer to the front to save on trucks than on having enormous supply bases far from the action. I think that FBD will then fix the line from Vitebsk to Velikiye Luki.






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Turn 10: the Super Depot - 4/28/2021 6:07:12 PM   
CapAndGown


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August 24, 1941 - start of turn

So I got to see the effects of my super depot at Smolensk. It was nice to see it drag a lot of supply forward, but I would suggest these are only useful for an area where the front is relatively close and fairly stable. Also consider the terrain. A super depot in the middle of the Valdai Hills would waste a lot of trucks as they paid high MP costs to get the supplies to units.

For instance, as you can see below, PzG 2 drew its supplies from Smolensk rather than Unecha which is closer. So they are all short on trucks, reducing their movement points. This turn the FBD is at Bryansk and I will use that as a super depot. My thinking here is that Orel looks like it may take two turns to capture, so trying to get the rail line there next turn would not work. So since the FBD has to wait anyway, why not super depot the place?

My rail line to Vitebsk-Smolensk finally went yellow, indicating the super depot used up a good deal of the capacity. That is good! I wonder what would have happened, though, if I had already completed the line from Minsk to Orsha? Would the line leading into Vitebsk be green, while the line from Orsha to Smolensk be yellow? Anyway, I am hoping that having multiple double track lines leading to a section of the front is a good thing.





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Turn 10: Carnage! Total effing carnage! - 4/29/2021 1:47:20 AM   
CapAndGown


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The soviets had ground support on this turn, at least for the Leningrad front. The results were not pretty, particularly for the VVS. I did have one group of Stukas go in without escorts. That hurt. I suspect the 109s were so worn down that they didn't fly due to my requirement of having at least 30% available to fly requirement.

Still: CARNAGE!





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Turn 10: Leningrad - 4/29/2021 3:03:13 AM   
CapAndGown


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My opponent implemented an interesting tactic in front of Leningrad this turn. He launched a series of deliberate attacks on my front line units, especially the mobile divisions. The attacks were practically guaranteed to fail, yet they drained off movement points and CPP (at least I think they effected CPP).

As far as casualties, the totals for the attacks pictured are:
Germans
Men: 671
Guns: 36
AFV: 9
Soviets
Men: 3677
Guns: 45
AFV: 34

The one attack by the isolated unit cost 522 men, so that might be skewing the numbers somewhat. As far as men, the Soviets lost 5 times as many men, but lost only about 30% more guns. Of course, I have no idea how many elements were damaged, though I image it was quite a few, though not enough to deter further attacks.

I am not sure about this tactic, but it is very, very historical. The Soviets launched many counter attacks that utterly failed, but they did cause the Germans quite a bit of grief. So I am kind of hoping that this is a viable tactic on the part of the Soviets.

Also pictured below is the Leningrad area after movement. As you can see, I pulled my mobile units out of the front line so they could rest.





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Turn 10: the open steppe - 4/29/2021 4:10:37 AM   
CapAndGown


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Polyushka, Polye!
Polyushka, shirokoye Polye!
Yedut po polye geroyi,
Ech da nasha kransnoy armi geroyi!

Wait, wrong language. (If you have not heard the song, here is a link to a version of it.)

We have left the swamps and forests of the Desna and Dnepr behind and are now out on the open steppe. The Soviets have almost nothing here. Their troops are massed in front of Leningrad and probably Moscow, leaving everything else open. If they are going to give it to us, we are going to take it. Will the Donbas be defended in strength? We shall see.

Note: the fonts for city names are criminally small, so I added them to the illustration below.




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