Part 11: Turn 2 - Axis Combat Phase: The Towers of Smolensk
In the north the German forces encounter no serious resistance after their capture of Riga. They push north and occupy the entirety of Latvian and Estonian SSRs within mere weeks. By the end of July, they go around Lake Peipus, where they face first organized Soviet resistance in the form of the Leningrad Front.
Lake Peipus is notable as the site of the 1242 Battle of the Ice, where Russian forces of the principalities of Novgorod, Vladimir and Pskov stood (under Prince Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod, later declared a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church) against a roughly equal force of the Livonian branch of the Teutonic order. After fierce fighting on the frozen lake, the Knights were exhausted and began to flee, at which point the ice beneath their horses began to crack. Many fell into the freezing water and drowned, and the Order had to abandon their attempts at subjugating Russian principalities. The battle became deeply ingrained into Russian national consciousness as it formed (later reinforced by Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky, which came out in 1938), and needless to say the symbolism of a great victory against the Germans was not lost on Soviet propagandists during the Great Patriotic War.
The Army Group Centre really puts things in gear. Within three weeks, they have traversed up to 500 kilometres within the Soviet territory, taking Minsk from the march. Axis VPs are now at 15. Thus far they have encountered but scattered marauders and small local militia units, but now they face regular Soviet troops arranged across the natural barrier of the Dneper. Still, the mood of the Wehrmacht troops is quite optimistic.
The Army Group South reorganises to incorporate the new 2nd Army. They shift south, taking Odessa against nominal resistance and prepare to engage the Reserve Front. Axis VPs now at 16. The 1st Panzer, although bloodied, moves away from Kiev to join this offensive. Meanwhile, the 17th and 6th Armies are left to blockade the city.
It appears that things may heat up again soon.
I need Herpicle to place target markers on hexes he wishes to have the Axis attack this turn. Next, I'll want Fangz to post any and all counterblows he may like to perform (and what cards he discards to make them happen). Then Herp may commit Blitz markers and cards to particular battles and list in what order he wants them to be resolved. Fangz may then commit cards himself. Axis army group commanders post where they would like to advance, Soviet sector commanders post where they would like to withdraw and, if applicable, if they would accept a counter-attack.
Deadline: Wednesday, 27 November, 7 PM GMT. If I don't get the Targets, CBs or cards, no Targets or CBs will be placed and no cards will be played. If I don't get retreats or advances, I will retreat/advance the units towards the nearest friendly or enemy city, respectively. I will never retreat a unit across EZOCs if I can help it, and I will never advance a unit to a hex where it has no supply, but they might end up in precarious positions.
A note on EX results in combat. Whenever a side takes a step loss (which is usually due to EX results, but not always), I assign it to the participating units of the side in the following order:
- One-step units that return for free
- One-step units
- Two-step units on full-strength side
- Two-step units on reduced-strength side
If there is more than one unit eligible in a given category, I go from weakest to strongest. If they are drawn for the weakest, I assign the loss alphabetically. However, if at any battle you would prefer me to assign the loss to a specific unit, just let me know.