Part 24: Turn 4 - Soviet Combat Phase: The Second Moscow Pocket
The defenders of Leningrad are ordered to back down and not respond to any Axis advances. Their equipment is packed up in preparation of a strategic move. Even the soldiers seem to be unaware of the point to this.
Near Moscow, General-Mayor Hipster Rooster orders his men to envelop the 9th Army. Once again the Axis forces holding the "Heiligeweg", the supply lifeline of the forces involved in Operation Typhoon, buckle under the strain and have to give up ground. Contact between the two German groups is severed yet another time. The aggressors are in a tough spot: despite their efforts, they can neither evacuate the salient nor hold an open supply line to the units within it.
Meanwhile in the south, the Red Army moves up to stop the German advance. A full-blown counter-offensive against Kharkov seems possible, but definite plans are yet to be made.
The South Front also moves back to block the Isthmus of Perekop from Axis penetration. The Rumanians on the other side of it appear indifferent.
Seeing how we've made it so far, I guess a couple words on your average infantryman's weapon would be in order. Say hello to the Mosin-Nagant 1891/30. This gun, like many rifles used during World War II, was developed in the late 19th century, but has since been updated several times. As the name implies, the current version was designed in 1930 (and subsequently modified again to make it easier to produce) and was instantly introduced as standard issue for Red Army front-line troops. An accurate, reliable and easy to maintain weapon, the Mosin-Nagant was the rifle of choice for Soviet snipers - for whom were reserved the models that turned out to be particularly accurate during test shootings. The sniper version used a different bolt handle that was longer and bent in order to allow the shooter to work it without the scope interfering. Soviet snipers used either locally designed scopes or Carl Zeiss knockoffs with 3.5-4x power magnification.
Some Axis troops also used these rifles. The Finns had a large surplus of those when they won independence from Russia during the Russian Civil War and have since developed their own versions of the Mosin, but most of them use the older M91 Mosin-Nagants. Simo Haayhaa, the deadliest sniper in history, also used a Finnish version of the Mosin - without a scope, since scopes are for scrubs. The Germans captured huge amounts of various models of these rifles over the course of Operation Barbarossa and were issuing them to their own troops under the designations Gewehr 252-256.
As an aside, Russians only call this rifle the Mosin. The Nagant part is a Western term, and kinda inaccurate, since Leon Nagant's design was eventually discarded when the Mosins were first introduced to the then-Imperial Russian army.
I need Target Hexes from Fangz. Once I have those, HerpicleOmnicron5 may post Counterblows (with card discards). Once all the battles for the turn are known, Fangz may commit cards and Shock! markers, while Herpicle may commit his cards. Soviet commanders are also asked to list which units take part in which battles. I'll also want advances from Rooster and cokerpilot as well as retreats from Logicone and Davin Valkri. The deadline for all this is Friday, December 20, 7 PM GMT.
Another piece of news: the Soviets now have enough unit counters that I'd feel comfortable carving out another commander slot on their team. If anyone's interested in it (or in the command of AGC, if you enjoy challenges), they're encouraged to sign up.
"Flavour" commands are also still available.