@ CsThor: Is that the Matrixgames version? I'm really tempted to try out that one sometime. When I'm finished with this monster.
Anyway, here we go again:
Turn 37, February 26th 1942
Another week with comparatively low casualties: 51.000. The Red Army limited itself to only a handful of attacks this week, all of them but one getting repulsed with heavy losses for the attacker.
Troop (ready) strength has increased to 2.650.000
, and the number of operational tanks has increased to 1.560
. Looks like my efforts to rebuild my forces are slowly getting rewarded. The Ostheer
is still far from ready for offensive action on a larger scale again, but it certainly looks as if we've passed the worst. For now.
In the North again nothing new to report. The Red Army is still reinforcing its troops in the Tikhvin
area, which has prompted me to move a Finnish coastal brigade to strengthen my positions. I'm not too worried because anything less than a full army assault will most probably shatter against the heavy fortifications in this area, but better safe than sorry...Göring
has blessed me with another 5 Luftwaffe Jäger (=light infantry) regiments, and I'm currently contemplating sending them to Leningrad to relieve the three infantry divisions of I Corps.
In the Vyzhnyvolochek
area I'm slowly reinforcing my almost crumbled lines and reorganizing my infantry corps. Two fresh reserve divisions from Germany are already in position, another three divisions have moved to within 50 miles of the front and two more are marching North from Rzhev
. With 7 (!) new infantry divisions I'll easily hold the front now. All Panzerdivision are well back, refitting. Torzhok
was abandoned by 269th infantry division when attacked by two Guards cavalry divisions, only to be re-taken in a counter attack by X
The great Kesselschlacht
south of Kalinin still rages on! The Russians throw themselves against the German divisions to break free, but to no avail. 7th Panzerdivision
fights off brutal attacks by 1st Shock Army, leaving the battlefield littered with Russian corpses as far as the eye can see. The Soviet 10th Cavalry division manages for a short time to open the Kessel
, but VII corps quickly closes the door again, smashing the cavalry division aside. To make sure I can keep the Russians sealed up I move up another reserve division from the Moscow area, the crack 29th MotInf division. If I can keep the trap closed for another week it'll be over for the trapped divisions.
I conduct a series of carefully orchestrated attacks that push back or rout a number of Soviet divisions, usually with a casualty ratio of 1:10 in my favour.
One result of my constant counter attacks is that all along the front Russian formations suffer one defeat after another. Sure, my troops suffer casualties, too. But for the majority of Red Army divisions their battle history is a rather bleak affair, which should greatly impact their morale.
With the impending success in the Battle of Kalinin
I am now able to move an infantry division south to finally relieve SS Das Reich
Special mention at this point goes to XXXXVI Panzerkorps
, a Panzerkorps only in name since it consists of 26th
, and 223rd
infantry divisions, 10th MotInf division
and the SS MotInf division "Das Reich"
. The corps has held the southern shoulder of the Moscow area for more than three months, its commander Colonel General von Vietinghoff
racking up an impressive combat record of 41 victories and a single defeat!
I was also able to relieve the elite regiment Grossdeutschland
and pull it back to Kaluga
to act as mobile reserve.
In the Voronezh
sector the situation is basically unchanged. 3rd and 4th Panzerdivisions in reserve behind the front are already back to 100 tanks each.
In the Voroshilovgrad-Stalino
area the situation has calmed down, too. The Red Army offensive seems pretty much stopped, and I have been able to withdraw all armoured divisions to refit. The five Panzerdivisions in this area have ~105 tanks each, which isn't too bad considering the ferocity of the fighting in the last 3 months.
On the Crimea nothing new to report. Every time the Russians advance on the isthmus of Feodosiya my German-Rumanian divisions give 'em a bloody nose. In the coming weeks I will have to reinforce my troops here, with the current divisions I can neither take Sevastopol
nor advance towards the Kuban
. I think I need an additional half a dozen divisions including a MotInf division or two and all the corps and army artillery I can get my hands on to take the fortress and advance east. We'll see...
Conclusion: still hanging on. Looks like the worst is over, and the Ostheer
hasn't disintegrated in the Russian winter. Only one more week of Blizzard! Then a lot of things will change.