Part 16: Turn 3 - Axis Combat Phase: Luga to Leningrad, Smolensk to Mozhaysk
The mud delayed the Axis supply deliveries, but by mid-September they're already set up to move. Traversing the USSR is going to be a challenge in these conditions, though. Soviet roads are awful, and in many places the German columns experience traffic jams on their relatively narrow approach tracks. Going off-road is hardly a possibility - the mud is in some places bad enough to nearly swallow supply trucks, or even an occasional tank.
This is not the first time the Germans have found the roads to be the most awful enemy they had to face in a campaign. During the Polish campaign in September 1939, they were so shocked and appalled by the state of the road network that they were convinced it was a deliberate defensive measure. The mud wasn't nearly as bad back then, though.
Army Group North finally approaches Leningrad. The city is going to be a tough nut to crack, but that doesn't deter the German generals. The OKH is already debating possible assault plans. Meanwhile, the inhabitants find themselves besieged and surrounded, with only a narrow strip of coastal land open to trucks and carts bringing in provisions from elsewhere in the Soviet Union. Quite soon, the approaching Germans close off even that thin avenue. The STAVKA scrambles to organize a supply chain across Lake Ladoga, but it cannot come too soon for those within the city.
Army Group Centre continues its push towards Moscow. However, the Kalinin Front succeeds in stopping their move before the gates of the capital. As it is, however, the Germans are mere 90 kilometres away from the Red Square.
Meanwhile, the 2nd Panzer remains in place and prepares to strike against the Caucasus Front once more.
The Army Group South splits into two parts: the northern one is tasked with engaging the belated Soviet effort to relieve Kiev. The city is easily taken against token resistance, but many of the locals gather in the countryside and begin organising guerilla operations against the German rear. German VPs now at 20. In any case, the salient that the Bryansk Front's move towards the capital of the Ukrainian SSR created in the lines might become a very dangerous liability for the Soviet side.
The other part of AGS approaches Dnepropetrovsk with the intent of claiming control of the city. They are up against numerous and dedicated defenders, however, which might make victory here very difficult. But Dnepropetrovsk is the last Soviet position on the west bank of the Dneper and the key to both the Donbas and the Crimea - it must fall, lest the Axis advance stalls completely.
Bear in mind that the sea hexside here means that no EZOC is extended across and no attacks or counterblows can be made by the 4th Rumanian against the South Front or vice versa.
The procedure for the Combat Phase is as follows:
- HerpicleOmnicron5 submits up to 5 Target hexes for this turn. These are the hexes the Axis will voluntarily attack this turn.
- Fangz submits Counterblow hexes and cards the Soviets discard in order to perform those counterblows.
- Herpicle commits up to one card and one Blitz! marker per battle. He also submits in what order he wants those battles to be resolved.
- Fangz commits up to one card per battle.
Once Targets and Counterblows are declared, respectable Army Group and sector commanders decide where do they want to retreat and which units advance, if given the possibility (since multi-hex advance is off, that's all I need to know).
Bear in mind that the enemy will react to what you do, which is why it's kinda important that you answer relatively quickly.
The deadline for all this is Friday, December 6, 7 PM GMT.