From my winter:
I have a similar frontline to yours except I managed to take Leningrad and Orel, but had a much bigger bulge towards Kiev. I think you really need to do a Taifun in the center and south to kill enemy units, destroy CPP and buy time. Give him time to build up and you die quickly. My southern Taifun took Stalino but I missed closing the pocket by one hex, and most of the Soviet units managed to escape. That left me in an unfortunate place with an overextended flank held by most Rumanians and not many Soviet units destroyed.
You can't be strong everywhere, so choose where to stand your ground. A line needs to be anchored on heavy wood/swamp terrain and with depots close by for resupply. Orel is actually a fairly good stop point for this since it has woods to the NorthWest and SouthWest that are offer good defensive lines. Standing close to Moscow is good because the AI will concentrate a lot of effort there. Accept you will lose ground somewhere, in my case my line of Rumanians and a few German units north of the Dnepr was nearly destroyed by March.
Some things to keep in mind:
-> you need infantry, lots of infantry. When the TB reduction arrives, don't hesitate and transfer 2-3 divisions out each turn. It's better to move them to Axis Reserves first, and then only to the map becauese you can then define the arrival hex.
-> in each combat that takes place there are several checks (no idea against what) that reduce your final defensive CV. You can fail a max of 3 checks which can reduce your defensive CV up to 90% in December, 75% in January, 50% in Febraury.
-> your command chain must be pristine in both leaders and being within command limit, including at Army level. IMO this is the most important of all and given you have Regiments everywhere I doubt this was the case for you.
-> only use Rumanians double stacked and under command of a German Corps. These can be subordinated to a Rumanian Army to save on command points. Don't be afraid to use them up, if they go unready, put them on a railline and transfer to Reserve or Soviet TB.
-> you don't want to commit Regiments to a fight unless there are special circumstances, Regiments increase your command burden and leave less margin for error if a check fails. Rather leave a gap that you counterattack into with a reserve. If it's in a tough place far north like West of Rzhev, only use them where they can only be attacked by one hex. Double Regiments can work as an emergency measure but again, not efficient use of command cap.
->Dont worry about being semi surrounded, hold onto fort levels and defensive terrain, as long as at least some supply is getting through. F.e. that single light wood hex north of Kobelyaki is what kept my entire line in the south from dissolving since it absorbed countless attacks.
->don't be afraid of counterattacking. Soviets seems overwhelming but with a full CPP German division you can shatter most brigades. Smash tanks and cavalry trying to infiltrate and in the North use units in good shape to improve positioning in sections of the front under less pressure when you have the ammo.
-> you don't have enough command capacity to put all armies on defence. You don't need or want to either. Attack Armies can't dig, but they can take over existing forts, so colocate one Assault Army with a normal Army, when the normal army unit has finished a fort at level 3, move it on and put an assault army infantry division in. The Assault Army will also help generate the CPP for your counterattacks.
-> contrary to what one might expect, motorized divisions seem largely unaffected, so you can use them as mobile reserves to shore up an exposed or exhausted line.
-> you need several depots near your front line, anything further than 4-5 hexes burns trucks and not enough trickles through. Use 2-3 FBD's at key points for the supply boost.
-> your panzers are useless, even in shielded hexes. Put them on 50% TOE and static, this reduces the supply burden of constantly giving them new tanks which then get damaged. Don't under any circumstances use them in combat.
-> when your tanks are down to 50-60% TOE, their transport cost is massively reduced and you can use rail to reposition them for the Spring. Due to capacity restraints it will take many turns to shift forces alone the line.
-> repositioning your armoured force takes a long time. You need to decide in January where your 42 Summer offensive will be.
< Message edited by MechFO -- 4/12/2021 1:13:14 PM >