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#3183226 - 01/19/11 03:37 PM WitE: Grand Campaign: VICTORY! ****  
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I'll post an AAR of the Grand Campaign in Gary Grigsby's War in the East here, decided to post it in a new thread to keep things tidy. Because of the scope of the campaign I'll post updates as I play through the campaign.

"The world will hold its breath."

On June 22nd 1941 Germany, together with its allies, invaded the Soviet Union in what was to become the larget military confrontation in human history.

I'll play the Grand Campaign as the Axis vs (normal) AI, hopefully securing a quick and easy victory against the Red Army who has shown its incompetency recently in the Winter War against Finland. The plan is we'll all be home by Christmas, ready for some R&R in Paris! And while plans rarely survive contact with the enemy, the Führer himself said that if you just kick in the door the whole rotten structure will come crashing down. So, after the victories of the previous Blitzkrieg campaigns everybody expects a short and intense campaign which will culminate in nothing but an inevitable and total victory in the East.

It is imperative that the Wehrmacht inflicts crippling losses on the Red Army and the soviet industrial and manpower base during the summer, hopefully knocking out the USSR in the first round. Neither the German economy nor its army are prepared for a drawn-out war. Logistics will be the Achilles heel of the German war effort, and while the Red Army will fight with severe penalties the 1st couple of months, given enough time it has the potential to grow into an unstoppable juggernaut. Especially when the winter blizzards arrive, the situation for the Axis can quickly turn into a major catastrophe.

For this endeavour, three German Army Groups, supported by Hungarian, Romanian, Italian, and Slovakian forces with more than 4.5 million men are at my command, from Königsberg in the North to Constanta at the Black Sea coast. The tip of the spear of the invasion will be the four Panzergruppen, basically Panzer Armies in all but the name, with Panzergruppe 4 (Hoeppner) with Army Group North, Panzergruppen 2 (Guderian) and 3 (Hoth) with Army Group Center and Panzergruppe 1 (v. Kleist) with Army Group South.

Against these forces stands the Red Army with more than 4.2 million men organized in a dozen military districts, from 'Western' to 'Transcaucasus'.

The scene is set:



Turn 1:

The war starts with the axis air forces exacting a terrible toll on the Red Army Air Force. Everything that flies attacks soviet airfields, with no regard to pilot fatigue. The aircrews may rest later, but during the first week they don't get a break. After seven days the red air force has lost more than 4700 aircraft while we only lost ~120 planes. We shouldn't need to worry about the Red Air Force any more for the coming weeks.

In the Army Group North sector the initial attack is met with only light and uncoordinated resistance. The infantry divisions of 16th and 18th army breach the soviet defenses east of Königsberg and the Panzerdivisions of XXXXIst and LVIst Panzerkorps(reinforced by Totenkopf SS division) race through the torn frontline north, reaching Riga after a 180 mile advance. The few unfortunate soviet armoured and mechanized formations in the way of the Panzers are literally swept away in the onslaught. Besides making sure the Feldeisenbahndirektion attached to AG North immediately starts converting the rail lines in the captured territory I transfer the infantry divisions from the Panzerkorps to infantry corps for supply reasons. XXXXIth PzKps now includes 2 Panzer and 1 Motorized Infantry divisions and LVIth PzKps 1 Panzer and 2 MotInf divisions.



My plans for AG Centre involve creating a large pocket west of Minsk, hopefully trapping the bulk of the Soviet armies deployed on its western border. To achieve this I will use a pincer attack by Panzergruppe 3 from east of Königsberg and Panzergruppe 2 from the Brest-Litowsk area. In the north the infantry of Vth, VIth and XXTh corps shatter soviet defenses and again the armoured spearheads dash forward. 7th Panzer and 18th Motorized Division are the 1st formations reaching the outskirts of Minsk.

In the south Soviet soldiers fanatically defend the fortress of Brest-Litowsk against the German assault. The heaviest fighting so far causes considerable losses among my attacking forces, but finally the attacks by 31st, 34st and 45st infantry divisions, well supported by corps artillery and the Luftwaffe break the defenders. With the road clear, Guderian orders the Panzers forward and 3rd PzDiv at last makes contact with 12th PzDiv south-west of Minsk! The 1st great Kessel on the Eastern Front has been sealed, all rail lines are cut. 20 soviet division plus several brigade- and regimental size formations have been surrounded. With their supply cut off the infantry of 4th and 9th armies will get the orders to destroy these forces in the next turn.




Last edited by Para_Bellum; 04/04/12 06:09 PM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#3184120 - 01/20/11 04:12 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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This is going to be brutal, I'll watch from the sideline.
How many turns per day you planning Para?

Cheers,
Slug


"Major Burns isn't saying much of anything, Sir. I think he's formulating the answer..." - Radar - M*A*S*H
#3184128 - 01/20/11 04:21 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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That map is so cool to look at. They've really done a great job with the game artwork. I've noticed that they show railroad lines but not roadways. Any idea why or am I missing something?

#3184133 - 01/20/11 04:27 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Originally Posted By: Sluggish Controls
How many turns per day you planning Para?


Depends on how much time I can dedicate to playing and writing. After the 1st few turns where the workload is rather heavy until you get everything organized I hope to get several turns done every 1-2 evenings. Still, finishing the campaign will probably take quite some time.

@enigma: While rail lines play an important part due to the supply rules the road network is abstracted.


In the Army Group South sector I decide to go for a massive pocket around Lvov by sending Panzergruppe 1 south towards the Romanian armies. The latter will not attack in the 1st week and XXIVth Panzerkorps will only be available from next turn on, so a calculated risk is involved. But other than the situation in the north and centre the soviet forces in the south are deployed in depth and in considerable strength, so I want to destroy these formations ASAP. Especially the powerful tank and mechanized units can become quite dangerous, even during this (for the Red Army) chaotic time.

Again the infantry (LVth, XVIIth, XXIXth corps) breach the soviet line, then the Panzer and Motorized division pour through the gaps. But here in the south the Red Army doesn't crumble the moment its frontlines are pierced. Near Brody 13th and 16th Panzerdivisions run into 34th Tank division. With heavy Luftwaffe support the Soviets get mauled, losing more than 120 tanks. 16th Panzer pushes east to widen the corridor towards Tarnopol and routs the 20th Tank division in the process. 11th Panzerdivision catches up and in concert with 13th PzDiv forces the 12th Tank division, another powerful formation to retreat with more than 100 destroyed tanks. The situation is critical but if my infantry catch up next turn I should be able to close the pocket by linking up with the Romanian forces in the south.





Turn 2:

In Army Group North sector Panzergruppe 4 pushes on and 6th Panzerdivision manages to capture Pskov! Unfortunately, the relentless advance over the last 14 days have depleted the fuel supplies of my armoured formations, 6th and 1st PzDiv are at 20-25%, while 8th PzDiv and 3rd and 36th MotInf divisions are basically out of gas. I moved the airfields north this round, so air supply won't change much this turn, but I need to wait on the infantry divisions to catch up anyway. A week's rest will hopefully get my spearheads back into fighting shape, thankfully casualties so far have been light.

Behind the armoured spearheads the infantry divisions of XXVIth corps start slowly closing in on the surrounded Red Army divisions west/ south-west of Riga. Riga itself is defended by a NKVD Rifle division, I'll assault the town next turn.



In the centre 4th and 8th armies start destroying the trapped Red Army forces in the Kessel west of Minsk. It's brutal defeat for the Soviets, I estimated this battle alone will cost the Red Army at least a quarter of a million men and thousands of lost guns and tanks. While the Red Army is in still in obvious shock Panzergruppe 3 continues its drive east. Rolling past and often right through retreating Soviet units XXXIXth PzKorps, with 14th MotInf division in the lead, captures Vitebsk! LXIIth PzKorps pushes on overrunning several Soviet airfields in the process, the prize of Smolensk almost in sight of its 12th PzDivision. Unfortunately, 300 miles of rapid advance in just two weeks are beginning to take its toll on the supplies and readiness of the mobile formations. I'll have to decide next turn whether I'll keep pushing on for one more week or wait for the infantry to catch up and rest my spearheads.

Guderian's divisions aren't lazy, either. After annihilating several Red Army division threatening their flanks Das Reich leads another leap forward, crossing the Berezina east of Bobruisk and XXXXVIIth Panzerkorps with its 14th PzDivision reaching the Dnepr!

I wonder if I can manage to create another large pocket east of the Dnepr, by linking up Panzergruppe 2 and 3 behind Smolensk. If just my infantry would come up faster!



In Army Group South sector XXXXVIIIth Panzerkorps links up with the Romanians (who are not activated yet) and completes the encirclement of more than 30 Soviet divisions in a giant pocket. Tarnopol is taken by 75th infantry division. I wonder if I have bitten off more than I can stomach, especially since in the south the pocket is anything but closed tightly. I just hope the Luftwaffe does some effective interdiction...
IIIrd Panzerkorps has pocketed another concentration of Soviet forces around Rovno, but here I really doubt I can keep the pocket closed. Would've needed one more mobile division to really close the door here.



Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/20/11 08:17 PM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3184369 - 01/20/11 08:50 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Turn 3:

In the North this is a rather uneventful week. As announced except for some minor front line cosmetics Panzergruppe 1 is resting and resupplying around Pskov.
Riga finally falls to IIIVIIIth corps assault, although the defending NKVD division manages to put up a tough fight. The (reinforced) XXVIth corps keeps on clearing out the pocket to the west. And I'm busy converting the rail network. The railhead in the north is almost up to Riga thanks to the compatibility of the rail gauge within the baltic rail zone.



Army Group centre manages some astounding achievements this turn. While the infantry corps destroy the remaining units in the pocket west of Minsk LVIth Panzerkorps in a bold advance captures Smolensk! The Red Army hasn't managed to form anything resembling a defensive line between the Dnepr and the Dvina and 7th Panzerdivision rolls into the door to Moscow! And almost unbelievable: the road the Vyazma seems wide open, too!
The Motorized Infantry Regiment Großdeutschland takes Mogilew while south of the city the leading elements of XXXXVIIth and XXIVth Panzerkorps force a crossing across the Dnepr. If Soviet resistance remains so weak I'll soon swing Guderian's force north-east towards Tula. Or maybe push them south towards Kiev...
Problem is that of course my mobile units here need some rest, too. We'll see how fast the Red Army can rebuild its destroyed divisions.



In the South the pockets hold and I manage to trap another two tank and one motorized division around Proskurov. Furthermore the Romanians and Hungarians have entered the battle. While their formations have nowhere near the combat power of German divisions they'll still be very helpful in holding the line and finish off cut off Red Army divisions. The main objective for the Romanians (supported by a few German divisions) will be the capture of Odessa on the Black Sea coast.

If I can reduce the pocket around Proskurov quickly enough I'll send XXXXVIIth Panzerkorps south to link up with the Romanians and create another pocket.




BTW at the end of turn 3 axis casualties are 62.000 men, 500 guns, 400 tanks and 233 aircraft. Soviet losses are 670.000 men, 8790 guns, 5600 tanks and 5900 aircraft.

Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/20/11 10:42 PM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3184451 - 01/20/11 10:15 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Quote:
@enigma: While rail lines play an important part due to the supply rules the road network is abstracted.


Ah...that is what I was wondering. Makes sense though. Very enjoyable AAR. The game looks superb!

#3184470 - 01/20/11 10:30 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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It looks very interesting. I have both WITP and WITPAE, but never get past more than a few days because of all the micro management. How does WIE compare? I presume you still have to plot a separate order for each unit?


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#3184493 - 01/20/11 10:53 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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I've never played WitP but from what I hear on the forums WitE is quite a bit easier to play with less micro-management. And yes, you still have to plot every move for every unit, no formation orders here.


"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3184509 - 01/20/11 11:10 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Originally Posted By: Para_Bellum
I've never played WitP but from what I hear on the forums WitE is quite a bit easier to play with less micro-management. And yes, you still have to plot every move for every unit, no formation orders here.


thanks. I don't know how much longer I will hold out.. banghead

another question. Are the Soviets reacting to the encirclements?


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#3184547 - 01/21/11 12:02 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Yes, they do. WitE features one of the best AIs I've ever seen in an operational wargame. The AI will fall back on defensible positions once its lines are breached and ruthlessly tries to cut off your spearheads if you're not careful.


In the north I keep slowly pushing past Pskov, but I still need to wait for the infantry corps to arrive and fuel supplies are still low among the mobile formations. The pocket west of Riga has been cleared and the freed corps will now push north towards Tallin. Leningrad is going to be a tough nut to crack. There's heap of Red Army divisions and they're digging defensive positions. Some of those positions are already real fortresses, a frontal assault would be very costly. Instead I will use my infantry corps to attack from the west and south, while Panzergruppe 4 swings around west of the Ilmen lake in a wide arc towards the coast east of Leningrad. With the city and its defenders cut off from supply things should get easier. Problem is there are already Red Army divisions digging in along the Pola river, south of the Ilmen lake. Breaking through that position and then wheeling 180 miles to the north isn't going to get easy.



In the centre Panzergruppe 3 has to counterattack several Soviet penetrations and, low on fuel and supplies, finally manages to restore the front line north of Smolensk. There's a tempting opportunity to strike north towards Velikie Luki to link up with Panzergruppe 4 and cut off all Soviet units west of that. Problem is I need a couple of infantry divisions to shore up my front first. And I don't want to delay the thrust towards Vyazma too long.

Panzergruppe 2 crosses the Dnepr with the bulk of its divisions, against heavy resistance. Supply situation is meh, and the infantry is still way behind. Casualties have been light though. Will probably need to wait another week before I can start the next big move.


Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/21/11 12:31 AM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3184559 - 01/21/11 12:23 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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@Joch:

I play WITP and WITPAE. I play WITP a LOT.

I just started with WitE (no grand campaign started yet) and it seems exceptionally well-done. I think it has less micromanagement but it is deep, still, to say the least. I love it so far!!!


"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Matthew 5:11

I am leaving it as I found it. Take over. It's yours.

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#3184594 - 01/21/11 01:27 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Army Group South continues to clear the pockets, forcing another 20 Soviet divisions to surrender, plus a dozen regiments and brigades.

Having successfully ended the Kesselschlacht around Lvov I reorganize my mobile units and move them into the start-off positions for the next phase, the attack on Kiev. In the north III Panzerkorps with 13th and 14th Panzerdivisions and 16th MotInf division, reinforced by LSSAH Motorized Infantry division, in the south XIV Panzerkorps with 9th PzDiv, 25th MotInf division, reinforced by SS Wiking MotInf division and XXXXVIII Panzerkorps with 11th and 16th Panzerdivision.

Again, I have to wait for the infantry corps to catch up. This time it really hurts me to keep the Panzers waiting because the fuel situation is rather well here, but with the number of divisions the Red Army starts to put up against me I have no other choice. The Soviets indeed create new divisions as quickly as I destroy them. This is gonna get tough.



Down South nothing spectacular happens. The Romanians and the infantry of XI and LIV Korps march towards Odessa.


"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3184611 - 01/21/11 01:55 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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The AAR looks very interesting. I might end up having to get the game myself.


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Even if you have a crown and sit at a throne
In the end you will have nothing
Even if you are destined for great riches
In the end you will return to the dust
#3184828 - 01/21/11 12:24 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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I'm not gonna buy the game, but I'll read this AAR to the end(sieg). biggrin


The attack on Moscow and any incursions into the Caucasus are going to be extremely interesting.

Please refrain from taking Stalingrad. biggrin

#3184902 - 01/21/11 02:06 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Turn 5

In the far North Finland enters the war!

II and IV Finnish Corps advance on Leningrad, but they will not push past the "Finnish no attack line" until I have actually taken the city. Having the Finns bolster my lines up north (they are far better prepared for the Russian winter than the Germans) is worth taking Leningrad for alone. There are some 40-50 divisions around Leningrad, this is going to get ugly.




Panzergruppe 4 consolidates its position east of Pskov with the finally arriving infantry corps and pushes a bit further east, towards lake Ilmen. Supply situation is getting better with the railheads approaching Pskov, but the Panzer and Motorized divisions are still in no position for the great breakthrough towards Lake Ladoga in the north to cut off Leningrad. I have to tell myself I don't have to rush, it's still July and the Russian winter is still far away. No point in grinding down my mobile formations as long as their combat power is diminished.




In the centre the Red Army pulls back the bulk of its forces from the Dnepr! Panzergruppe 2 took too long crossing the Berezina and the Denpr, there goes my chances of easily pocketing the Soviet troops defending the river line. OTOH, Panzergruppe 3's supply situation is pretty bad, I doubt they could manage more than a 40-50 mile thrust south at the moment anyway. They're still more than 200 miles from the railheads. The railwaymen of Feldeisenbahndirektion 2, attached to Army Group 2 are working day and night to repair and re-gauge the rail lines, but it still takes time to cover the 500 miles from Brest-Litowsk to Smolensk.



To the south Panzergruppe 1's Panzer Divisions break through the Soviet front south of Vinnitsa and north of Zhitomir! I haven't managed to seal the pocket though, there's still a 50 mile gap west of Kiev. Again I start to wonder if I haven't bitten off too much. There's some 40+ divisions inside that pocket...



In the far south 11th Army and 4th Romanian Army continue their advance on Odessa while 3rd Romanian Army covers the flanks to the north.



Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/21/11 02:08 PM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3184959 - 01/21/11 02:54 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Originally Posted By: Para_Bellum


Again I start to wonder if I haven't bitten off too much. There's some 40+ divisions inside that pocket...



Fortes fortuna adiuvat


the real question is when to start the push on Moscow?


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#3185292 - 01/21/11 08:40 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Great AAR; I'm lovin' it !

Do you have a recap of casualties so far ?


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Someday your life will flash in front of your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.
#3185309 - 01/21/11 08:53 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Turn 6

In the far North the Finns are closing in on Leningrad from the North, while I and XXIII corps are engaging Red Army units west of the Narva river.

In the Pskov sector I used 3rd Motorized Infantry division to break through the Soviet lines and together with II corps thrust south towards Velikie Luki.
From the Vitebsk area this attack is supported by the infantry of LIII corps and the 8th Panzerdivision. 20+ Russian divisions are cut off! The encirclement is, yet again, far from tightly closed, but the Red Army in this area simply lacks the powerful mobile formations to break such a pocket.



At Smolensk the bulk of Panzergruppe 3 is still resting and resupplying. If the Red Army doesn't pull back its forces east of the Dnepr I'll try to cut them off with a pincer movement from Panzergruppe 3 moving south-east, and Panzergruppe 2 from the Gomel area moving north-east. A success of such an operation would cut off a large part of the Soviet forces currently defending the approaches to Moscow, around 30 divisions. Panzergruppe 2

In Army Group South sector the giant pocket around Zhitomir holds! The divisions of III and XXXXVIII Panzerkorps beat back all attempts to break out, while SS Wiking Division stops a corps-strength attack to relieve the pocket from the south-east, destroying more than 200 russian tanks in the process. The divisions of 6th and 17th armies will soon finish them off.



To the south Romanian and German forces continue their advance on Odessa and towards the Bug river, with the leading elements of 73rd Infantry division coming to within 10 miles of the city.


Originally Posted By: oldgrognard
Great AAR; I'm lovin' it !

Do you have a recap of casualties so far ?


Thanks!

Casualties at the end of turn 6:

Axis: 115.000 men, 970 guns, 750 tanks, 410 aircraft
Soviet: 1.110.000 men, 14.140 guns, 8551 tanks, 6543 aircraft.



Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/21/11 09:32 PM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3185442 - 01/21/11 11:10 PM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
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Germany
Turn 7

Nothing new to report in the north, the Finns have reached the outskirts of Leningrad and the "no attack line" which they won't cross until Leningrad is taken, I and XXIII corps still close in on Leningrad from the west and XXVI and XXVIII corps start advancing towards Leningrad from the south. Supply situation of Panzergruppe 1 has improved quite a bit, next turn I should probably be able to unleash my spearheads again.

The great Kesselschlacht west of Velikie Lukie is as good as over, during this week's fighting the Red Army lost ~ 150.000 men in this pocket.



South of Mogilev the 134th and 292th infantry divisions blast a hole into the Russian front. In repeated attacks, supported by corps artillery and Luftwaffe attacks counting up to 250+ aircraft, they rout five Soviet divisions off the battlefield! The door opened, the divisions of XXXXVII, XXXXVI and XXIV Panzerkorps rumble towards Smolensk. At the same time VII corps attacks across the Dnepr west of Smolensk and breaches the Soviet lines. 19th and 20th Panzerdivisions and 18th Motorized Infantry division exploit through the gap and link up with the spearheads of Panzergruppe 2. Another 20 Red Army divisions are cut off.



Army Group South finishes the Battle of Zhitomir. Cut off by Panzergruppe 1 the Red Army loses more than 250.000 men and almost 2.000 tanks in this battle. Total losses for the Red Army in this week alone come to 450.000 men, while Axis losses are ~9.000 casualties.



While Panzergruppe 1 moves into position for the attack on Kiev a Kampfgruppe of the Mobile Hungarian Corps, LV corps and XI corps push east towards Kirovograd the major Red Army airbase in this area.

In the south Odessa has been isolated and 11th army's division are ready for the assault next turn. The city is defended by 30.000 Soviet soldiers and has been heavily fortified, so I don't expect an easy victory. But with corps' artillery and air support and led by the crack 22nd Luftlandedivision we will take the fortress.





Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/21/11 11:15 PM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#3185570 - 01/22/11 02:13 AM Re: WitE: Grand Campaign [Re: Para_Bellum]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,762
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Para_Bellum  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,762
Germany
Turn 8, 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 and Smolensk 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.

Around Kiev 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 (colonel general)!
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:






Last edited by Para_Bellum; 01/22/11 02:25 AM.

"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

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