A Clash of Titans, Xhoel (Axis) vs Bitburger (Soviet)

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A Clash of Titans, Xhoel (Axis) vs Bitburger (Soviet)

Post by xhoel »

Game Settings: GC 41-45 Bitter End, Full FOW, Full Blizzard, No Soviet +1, Paradrops allowed only if target is located 3 (or less than 3) hexes away from a friendly supplied unit, Amphibious operations are also allowed but only in 1942 and after, not allowed if Sevastopol is Axis controlled.

Friday, June 20th 1941.
The Fuhrer invited all senior commanders to Rastenburg (Wolfs Lair) for a last meeting before Operation Barbarossa begins. He confirmed that the date for the beginning of hostilities will be the 22nd of June and emphasized that no further delays can be allowed. The objectives for the campaign were also repeated:
1) Leningrad
2) the Ukraine
3) Destruction of the Soviet Army
4) Moscow


The Fuhrer repeated that this will be a short campaign and that victory awaits for us, we only have to reach out and grab it.
The morale and spirits are high, and there is a scent of optimism in the air.

All Army Groups have recieved their orders and last preparations are underway. We are embarking on a grand crusade against Bolshevism, a crusade that will be remembered for centuries to come...

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RE: A Clash of Titans, Xhoel (Axis) vs Bitburgerdraft (Soviet) [no Bitburgerdraft]

Post by EwaldvonKleist »

Will follow.
Given his username, your opponent Bitburgerdraft might be from Germany too?
Do you only give Hitler's historical priorities here or are those your own?
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T1

Post by xhoel »

Bitburgerdraft is from Canada, I am currently living in Germany myself but I am not German. The priorities reflect my strategical aims for the 1941 Campaign.

Background:
After months of preparations the time has come for Operation Barbarossa to begin. Our goal is to break the Red Army and rob the Soviet Union of its means of resistance thus allowing us to reach the AA Line just shy of the Urals. Once the Soviet Union is defeated there is absolutely no doubt that the British will sue for peace thus allowing the Third Reich to establish itself on the European continent as the most powerful entity that the world has ever seen.

The OKH is in charge of all operations in the East and in the last few months a large number of formations has been created to take part in Operation Barbarossa. Under the OKH there are three Army Groups each with their own objective:
1) Army Group North (AGN) commanded by Generalfeldmarschall von Leeb with the objective of taking the city of Leningrad.
2) Army Group Center (AGC) commanded by Generalfeldmarschall von Bock with the objective of taking the capital city of Moscow.
3) Army Group South (AGS) commanded by Generalfeldmarschall von Rundstedt with the objective of taking the resource rich Ukraine.

Situational Evaluation of the Air War
T1, 22nd-26th of June 1941.

After months of extensive recon of Soviet positions and formations, in the early hours of June 22nd the Luftwaffe launched one of the largest Air Raids in its operational history. Using the element of surprise it targeted Soviet Air Fields destroying huge amounts of aircraft on the ground. Using the confusion that griped the Soviet command, smaller air raids were conducted on the following days yielding unbelievable results. Luftwaffe reports claimed 4.743 destroyed air frames of which more than 4.500 were destroyed on the ground. Confirmed A2A kills by our fighter pilots were around 125. Our own losses amounted to a mere 41 air frames, most of which were caused by faulty machines or landing accidents due to highly fatigued pilots. In the following report the Air Frames circled in red are the ones that the OKH considers important such as the modern Fighter MiG-3 (678) or the Strategic Recon plane SB-2 Rcn (101). The success of these Air Raids leaves the Luftwaffe in full control of the skies and ensures safe ground operations.

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RE: T1

Post by xhoel »

Situational Evaluation of Ground Operations
T1, 22nd-26th of June 1941.

Infantry formations of the 16th and 18th Army under AGN engaged Soviet units along the borders and pushed forward at fast pace. Most Soviet formations facing AGN routed at first contact with our infantry scattering east in the forests of the Lithuanian countryside. In the following days these units were cut off by our fast advancing panzer formations and isolated in two pockets: the Talsi pocket in the north (7 divisions) and the Siaulia pocket in the south (7 divisions). To ensure that no naval evacuation takes place, the ports of Liepaja and Ventspils were taken earlier in the week by elements of the 18th Army and by the Totenkopf SS Motorized division. This seals the fate of the Soviet defenders inside the pockets, who are to be cleared by the infantry formations of the 18th Army by next week.

In other news the cities of Kaunas and Vilnius fell to our infantry yet the garrison of Riga managed to hold an assault by the 16th Panzer Division. Security units are moving east to garrison the recently taken cities and to ensure the restoration of order.

The 4th Panzer Group has only partially achieved its goal, the XXXXI Panzer Corps has failed to take Riga and has therefore been forced to form a defensive cordon south of the Daugava river to prevent Soviet units from breaking out of the pocket. Their formations have been augmented by the 7th Panzer Division on loan from Pz Group 3. The LVI Panzer Corps of von Manstein has had more success, capturing two intact bridgeheads over the Daugava at Livani and Daugavpils and has established a foothold on the northern bank of the river.

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FBD 2 has begun the repair of the rail line to Kaunas.



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RE: T1

Post by EwaldvonKleist »

Okay, just thought it because Bitburger is quite a big beer brand in Germany. Seems to be exported to Canada then. Good AAR so far. AGN pocket can be broken depending on initial morale rolls and routed/MP rolls. My bet is it will be broken.
Your priorities are Hitleresque though he probably had every priority list you can form of These items once in his head during 1941.
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RE: T1

Post by xhoel »

Not my best opening for sure, made quite a lot of mistakes during the first turn and Bitburgerdraft got quite lucky with the random numbers generator, I haven't seen many Soviet units whose morale was in red but I don't think the game gets decided on the first turn as some believe. I really don't know how routed units work so you might be right on that one. If you have time I'd like to know about that :D

Army Group Center
In the sector of AGC formations of the 9th and 4th Army have pushed the Soviets back east and the movement of panzer formations has lead to the creation of several pockets. The biggest pocket is that of Bialystok which contains at least 25 Soviet divisions. To make the "liquidation" of the pocket easier infantry formations have attacked Soviet units fortified on the border and pushed them back into open terrain. To the north of the Bialystok pocket is the loosely screened pocket of Lida containing at least 5 divisions. The OKH doubts the pocket will hold by next week. In the South The Fortress of Brest Litovsk held a determined assault by 3 Divisions of the IX Corps. It has been surrounded and cut off to force the defenders to surrender.

The 3rd Panzer Group has advanced deep into Belarus, its LVII Panzer Corps is a mere 20 miles away from Minsk while the XXXIX Panzer Corps is threatening the city from the north. The 2nd Panzer Group (much to Guderians dismay) is operating with only one Panzer Corps at the moment since the OKH decided to divert two of its corps South seeing a viable opportunity that created itself in the AGS sector. Its only Panzer Corps, the XXXXVII Panzer Corps is screening the Bialystok pocket to the south.

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RE: T1

Post by EwaldvonKleist »

Routed units:
Units route depending on their morale and TOE levels, I have a feeling that fatigue too plays a role in it.

A routed unit has to pass a leader check to rally (I hope this is the correct English word) aka become a unit with ZOC/ability to enter enemy hexagons again.
An isolated unit forced to retreat or to displacement auto surrenders.

Also remember T1 infantry MPs are capped at 8MPs for the Soviets, so you can pretty much calculate how far they can walk. But when a unit has been attacked during the Axis T1 it can for some reason exceed the limit (it will not always do but can). That adds a little random element.

Here we have both random elements (routed units rally or not and MP rolls) at work at the same time for the little gap at Birzai.

If your opponent has even more luck, he can isolate the mot units around Riga during his T1.

The game can definitely not be won during the first turn, even though I would argue it can be lost there. During T1, you simply can achieve many things much cheaper/quicker than you can on the following turns.

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RE: T1

Post by xhoel »

Thanks for taking the time to explain it, I just checked the manual and confirmed that routed units have to pass a range check first, that is they have to be less than 6 hexes away from their HQ to rally. I always thought units had to be 2 hexes away from the HQ to pass the range test but it seems to have been changed and I hadn't noticed. Oh well, at least now I will keep that in mind. I'm still having problems uploading images which makes this quite frustrating as I have already written everything down :/
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RE: T1

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Army Group South
The 6th and 17th Army broke Soviet defences on the Bug river and advanced east. The brunt of the fighting fell on Reichenau's 6th Army, which faced stiff Soviet resistence moving east. Two pockets have been formed, one at Kovel (8 divisions) and one major pocket at Lvov (at least 35 divisions).

It is important at this point to explain why 2/3s of Guderians Panzer Group 2 have been diverted South. Following the opening made by elements of the 6th Army and the advance of the 1st Panzer Group, recon and intelligence reports indicated a massive gap in Soviet defenses near and south of the city of Tarnopol. The commander of the 1st Panzer Group, Generaloberst von Kleist requested extra units to make a dash for the Romanian border, ensuring the encirclement of a substantial amount of Soviet armored formations in the South. After much discussion, the OKH ordered Guderian to divert a part of his units south. However the movement and operations of these units did not go very smoothly. In the case of the Kovel pocket, the lack of maps on the area around Manevichi, bad terrain and communication problems between units of the 1st Panzer Groups and units of the 2nd Panzer Group resulted in a poor screening of the pocket to the north east, where a gap has developed. In the following map, escape routes that the Soviets are likely to take have been marked in green.

In the case of the Lvov pocket, operations ran more smoothly due to better maps and terrain. The OKH believes that the pocket will hold till next week, and by that time the advancing infantry should be able to clear the Soviet defenders.

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RE: T1

Post by xhoel »

Casualties and Replacements.

Casualties
Heavy casualties were reported all over the front this week on both sides. On our side we have taken 10.000 casualties of which more than half are KIA. 250 Guns of all calibers, around 140 AFVs and more than 500 trucks have also been lost due to combat operations.

The Soviets have taken around 182.000 casualties, of which 155.000 have become POWs. Losses in material ammount to 3.400 guns of all calibers and around 2.000 AFVs. Our troops have captured around 1.700 trucks from the enemy.

Image

Replacements

Due to the poor road network of the Soviet Union and the fact that we have to convert the Soviet rail gauge to the european one the OKH has set a priority of trains that move east. Main priority is the delivery of fuel, ammunition and general supplies. Replacements for the Support formations (AA, Artillery, AT) and for the Infantry Divisions are not considered a priority and it is expected that normal Infantry Divisions operate at 80% of their prescribed strength. Only ''breakthrough'' formations (classified by the OKH as having a morale rating >85) are to receieve replacements in order to reach their 100%TOE. The same goes for Pioneer Battalions, armored, mountain and motorized formations. All FBDs are also to retain their full TOE.

The OKH is well aware that these restrictions on the delivery of men and material will hamper the fighting efficiency of our divisions, but considering the logistical constrains that we will be facing, it is the best solution to the problem.

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T2

Post by xhoel »

T2, 26th of June-3rd of July 1941.

General Situation

The enemy has managed to break out of the Lida pocket in the Center and the Kovel pocket in the South as expected. Break out attempts from the other pockets have not been successful and our infantry has begun the liquidation of these pockets.

After the intensive air campaign over the Soviet Union last week, many Luftwaffe units have been put on R&R and due to a shortage of aircraft some air groups have received older airframes to make ends meet for the time being. The enemy only made 3 air raids against LW forward airbases targeting our fighter airframes and achieving success by catching us by surprise. They managed to destroy 22 fighter airframes on the ground. When their sorties were intercepted by our fighters they suffered heavy losses: 50 airframes destroyed. The Luftwaffe Air Bases are to recieve extra Flak units to protect them from such attacks in the future.

There have been changes in the chain of command so far.
The Commander of I Corps Hans Kuno von Both has been been wounded by shrapnel while inspecting units on the front line. He has been replaced by Generalleutnant Walter Model. For his failure to take the fortress of Brest Litovsk the commander of the IX Corps Herman Geyer has been sacked and replaced by Generalleutnant Ernst Hell. The same fate befalls the commander of XXXXII Corps for failing to successfully liquidate the western portion of the Bialystok pocket. He is replaced by Generalleutnant Friedrich Kirchner.

The OKH releases 4 Infantry divisions that were being held in reserve. 2 of them are allocated to AGN and 2 to AGS. The XIV Panzer Corps that has just arrived from the Balkans is transferred to AGC. By next week AGC will be reinforced by another Panzer Corps coming from AGS.

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RE: T2

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AGN

The liquidation of the Siauliai pocket was the task given to the 18th Army for this week. It was carried on without problems. All Soviet units except for 2 divisions surrender after putting up a tough fight. Riga is declared an open city and is captured by elements of the I Corps. The 16th Army marches east at quick tempo following behind the 4th Panzer Group.
The direction of the Panzer Group 4 is changed abruptly due to recon and intelligence reports stating that the Soviets have transferred 2 full Armies in the area around Pskov and are fortifying the river line there. The same intelligence reports indicate that there is a lack of defenses in the area north of the Dvina just west of Vitebsk. This is where our panzers strike in coordination with Panzer Group 3. Our advance is met with very littles resistance and we manage to pocket 5 Soviet divisions and create quite a gap in Soviet defenses not to mention cutting of both rail lines that lead north. Next turn depending on the pace of our infantry the panzers will be pulled back to Rest and Resupply.

AGN sector, morning of the 26th of June:
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RE: T2

Post by xhoel »

Situation after German moves:

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RE: T2

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AGC

4 Infantry Corps are working on the reduction of the Bialystok pocket where the Soviets are putting heavy resistance. 12 divisions still remain inside the pocket. The pocket of Lida is resealed and the fortress of Brest Litovsk falls after a well executed attack from the IX Corps. Minsk falls to our motorized formations and in the process the industry of the city is captured. The XXXXVII Panzer Corps has put a screen east of Minsk to tie up Soviet troops. Panzer Group 3 forms the southern screen of the Polotsk pocket. The remaining infantry converges east at full speed.

AGC sector, morning of the 26th of June:
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RE: T2

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AGC sector, after German moves:

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RE: T2

Post by xhoel »

AGS

The liquidation of the Lvov Pocket is the topic of the day at the headquarters of AGS and this task is tying up numerous infantry formations. However good progress has been made so far and we expect the pocket to be fully cleared in 2-3 weeks. Our Infantry manages to reseal the Kovel pocket and our panzer formations manage to create another big pocket west of Zhitomir, trapping a high number of Soviet armored and motorized units . For securing the pocket the OKH has released 2 newly Motorized Divisions that were supposed to go to AGC. Further South, the 11th Army and the Romanian 3rd and 4th Armies march east almost unopposed due to the enemy pulling back behind the Bug river line.

AGS sector, morning of the 26th of June:
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RE: T2

Post by xhoel »

The pockets of Kovel and Shepetovka:

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RE: T2

Post by xhoel »

Southern part of the Lvov Pocket:

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RE: T2

Post by xhoel »

11th Army Sector:

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RE: T2

Post by xhoel »

Casualties T2:


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