Turn 3 July 6, 1941
Low pressure systems are looming. Hopefully they converge and bring some heavy rains to Russia next week.
Germans try to consolidate their pockets. Motorized regiments make a thrust north toward the Gulf of Finland between Lake Pskov and Lake Vortsjarv.
We’re able to break pockets (163rd Mech loops from Velikaya defenses to slip behind 32nd ID and break the pocket around 3rd TD, who in turn reaches the northern pocket. 22nd NKVD tries to help, but they can’t get to the northern pocket to make an encirclement.
1st PzD, Totenkopf SS MD, 3rd MD, Unk PzD, 900th Lehr Bde, 8th PzD
32nd ID, 122nd ID, 123rd ID almost cut off in Latvia.
2&3/36th MD cut off in Estonia.
1st ID and 291st ID also cut off in Estonia.
19th PzD, broken down in regiments, crossed at Polotsk and has regained LOC, but is low on fuel as well. We spread a defense in this favorable terrain to protect the approaches to Velikie Luki.
I want to hold the area west and south of Velikie Luki to stretch his lines for now and maybe present areas for counter attack in the near term.
18th MD is sitting in Vitebsk.
7th PzD and 20th MD make separate upper Dnepr crossings. The Orel MD will pull back to favorable terrain and give up the clean terrain behind the rivers.
20th PzD is near Smolensk, and can be cut off. It is low on gas. 51st TD makes a run that cuts off 20th PzD, as well as 7th & 12th PzD.
18th PzD backs up 20th MD on the western banks of the Dnepr at Orsha.
158th RD cuts off the 3rd PzD in Mogilev.
29th MD regains LOC and is low on gas. 17th PzD has taken the vanguard toward Gomel, but is in turn cut off by the 52nd TD.
In the south several of the pockets are broken and the tables are largely turned on First Panzer Group.
LAH Bde is cut off after making attacks south of Kiev. The 13th PzD is also cut off.
19th TD links up with a pocket and cuts off Wiking SS MD, 2&3/4th PzD, 9th PzD, 10th PzD, 11th PzD with XXXXVIII and XIV Motorized Corps and an unk HQ in the pocket.
Farther west 1/16th PzD cut off and routed nearly 100 miles south, losing 23 of 55 tanks (half of those Pz III and IV models).
2&3/16th PzD cut off with 297th ID when the 1/60th MD retreated under a three Rifle Division attack led by Rokossovsky.
An attempt is made to rout LAH Mot Bde, but their combat power was twice what recon led us to believe, and our forces were insufficient even though we had isolated them from supply.
These pockets will cost us more units, but we have deemed the additional sacrifice worth the trade off in supplies to a large number of German mechanized forces during the third week, when many of the original surplus supplies should be largely spent.
We’re overall feeling good about the situation on the approach to Leningrad. Defenses are largely set, with just the need to feed in reinforcements and build the line out.
In the center we await the enemy’s next thrust. Taking Smolensk, or toward Bryansk? Velikie Luki? The Gomel effort appears to be a sideshow. I’m hoping we can slow it down and refuse an encirclement towards Mogilev or Kiev for a few more weeks.
Overall strategic map at and the end of turn 3: