, 14th August 1941
After eight weeks of fighting it's time for a little review. So far everything goes exceptionally well. The previously played scenarios have seemingly prepared me quite well for the real thing. I keep an eye on logistics, re-organize corps and armies when necessary and keep Guderian's saying "Klotzen, nicht kleckern!"
in mind to keep my Panzerkorps together, avoid using Panzerdivisions for "lesser" tasks and mainly try to use my mobile formations for exploitation through the gaps created by the infantry corps.
OTOH in this phase of the campaign there's just not too much the Soviets can do. They have to trade space for time and hope for mud and, ultimately, the winter.
My divisions are still in good shape, although the Panzer strength has dropped from 3.800 at the beginning of Barbarossa
to 2.800 by now. Panzer strength in the divisions ranges from ~100 to 150+, so I'm not (yet) worried though.
Casualties since June, 22nd:
Axis: 160.000 men, 1.384 guns, 1.000 tanks, 529 aircraft
Soviet: 1.853.000 men, 21.000 guns, 12.420 tanks, 7.000 aircraft
On the Leningrad front I'm now ready for Panzergrupp 4's "big push". The mobile divisions of LVI and XXXXI Panzerkorps are at 90% fuel supply, the infantry corps have caught up and several attacks have provided for good start-off positions for the new offensive. The elimination of the pocket west of Velikie Lukie has secured the flank, we're ready to roll next turn. I just hope I can manage to secure that 150 mile flank from Pskov to Lake Ladoga. A dozen infantry divisions will have to do.
In the centre the battle between Mogilev
ended with the destruction of the trapped Red army forces, at least 100.000 Soviet casualties. 7th Panzerdivision
has broken through the front east of Smolensk and has reached Vyazma
, 120 miles west of Moscow
. 100 miles to the south 17th Panzerdivision
leads XXXXVII Panzerkorps towards Bryansk
I'll probably try to swing Panzergruppe 3 to the north and Panzergruppe 2 to the south of Moscow.
von Kleist's Panzergruppe 1
through a bold assault across the Denpr managed to surround another 18 Soviet divisions. 6th Army
with its four corps stands ready to clear out the pocket and take Kiev next turn. Nice surprise: during this operation the commanding general of XXXXI Panzerkorps, General Werner Kempf
has been promoted to Generaloberst
Furthermore a battle group consisting of SS Wiking Division and 11th Panzerdivision have thrust towards Kirovograd
, cutting off 7 Soviet divisions. Again the pocket isn't really sealed tight, but I want to use the current disorganized state of the Russian forces.
On the Black Sea coast Odessa falls to 11th Army's
determined attack. 20.000 prisoners are taken. The next objectives are Nikolaev and Krivoi Rog, then we'll see what to do about the Crimea. I already realize that the further I advance, the more stretched my lines get.
And here's the big picture