The Let's Play Archive

No Retreat! The Russian Front

by Tevery Best

Part 26: Year Summary: Why Is Defending the Motherland So Hard? I Blame You

When the Germans rush towards Leningrad, they are surprised to see that the abandoned defensive positions are shelled by Soviet artillery and that the hidden defenders have repositioned themselves in such a way as to turn their former redoubts into baits of deadly killzones. It appears that the Soviet maskirovka has worked - for now.

Divisions of the recently broken South Front are reinforced with new brigades from the strategic reserve and shifted to the north to exploit the breach in the German lines achieved north of Smolensk.

The Bryansk Front remains in Strategic Reserve. It can be detrained in the Axis Detraining Phase.

With this we conclude Turn 4 - and 1941 ends.

1941 is a very important year in this game. The results of Barbarossa influence everything that happens later on, and can make or break the Axis gameplan. Of course, even a disastrous 1941 campaign (i.e. not all that successful, because you just can't really fail this part as the Germans) can be salvaged later on - or, if you can't manage that, you can start preparing for the defence of the Vaterland a bit early and hope to win some other kind of victory. In any case, we still have 1942 to shake things up.

Black on the left is the 1941 border. Green is the end of June 1941. Yellow is July/August, brown is September/October, and the red unbroken line is right now.

Where exactly do we stand with this? Well, the Germans have failed to secure any of the three Objectives possible to attain in 1941, but their gains are impressive nonetheless. They're 1 VP away from the Sudden Death threshold (which, admittedly, does not grant them victory in our game - but it's still a mark of achievement and something to hinder the Soviets) and still have a turn left to grab it - but it remains to be seen if that turn will actually be helpful in that regard.

On the other hand, I haven't seen German casualties in 1941 be this high in a longer while now. The Moscow situation is quite a pickle for the Axis, and the Soviets seem poised to start a major counteroffensive from their salient north of Smolensk. If you look at how the front lines changed, you can see the awful mess caused by the German "roving cauldron" near the capital. But the Red Army position has challenges of its own: the line is tenuous, and the Soviets have had units sit in the Destroyed and Surrendered unit boxes for turns now. The West Front is there ever since Turn 1 - and arguably not having it there could prevent the later encirclement of Southwest and Central.

It will be most interesting to see how this develops.

Casualty reports
Until this point, my calculations indicate 6 step losses taken and 2 units destroyed on the Axis side. In manpower terms, this means 230 000 wounded, 146 500 killed or missing, and 25 000 taken prisoner.

The Soviets have had 5 units shattered, 8 destroyed and 3 surrendered. This means 525 000 wounded, 400 000 killed or missing and 775 000 taken prisoner.

Both sides' casualties amount to about 50% of their OTL losses, which I'm more inclined to attribute to my maths being off (with no real attempt or ability to account for small-scale skirmishes) and the scale of the game not exactly being congruent with real-life force sizes (e.g. the Soviet forces on the board on Turn 1 should number around 2,5 million, but with 200-230 thousand men per counter only go up as far as 1,6-1,8 million).

Choice quotes from the docs

I hope I haven't wrongly attributed any of these, but it's sometimes hard to tell who wrote what. Spelling and punctuation are unchanged. Icons, however, are my own addition. Sequence mostly random.


: I’m starting to think that God is not a marxist.


: where my powerful units at, comrade?


: Plans comrades?
Plans would be good.


: Contemplates melting down medal to make more bullets.


: [Operation] Down with a Bang is go. Go badly, but still go.




: Hey. Everything has gone according to my plans: A perfect re-enaction of high-school drama/WW2. This has to become an anime one day, it would fit perfectly with this script. Davin is a perfect tsundere.


: Also, time to invade Crimera it seems. Someone bring me my invading cape.

: We have invading capes?

: No, you and OKH have Failure Capes.


: Here’s a fun fact: if you look at the south-east of the latest situation map, you can just about see the Stalingrad hexside. This war is steadily going east.

: It’d be further east if OKH hadn’t wasted our OKH card on Luftwaffe Support instead of ISO *grumble grumble*


: That is the beauty of Der Neue Offensive. Plans for everything, but plans for nothing. Action for all, and action for naught. Even if this information somehow leaks to the enemy, they will be baffled and ignore it.


: Why Stalin why would you do that?



: The supplies are probably vodka tbh


: May Marx help us all…


: In sadder news, with the failure of that counterblow, we can’t properly advance on Moscow without risking our supply lines to Smolensk. I’m probably just going to have AGC secure its flanks this turn.

: Risking our supply lines? Do it. Push as far as we can.


: May I just say right now...FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

: I concur with the FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! I blame you. I should never have gone with your silly plan, you have ruined that battle.




: Comrads I bring good new our spys have succsefuly stoped nazi infitrators from posioning our vodka supply!


: Dnepropertrovsk will hence be named Nep-Nep. After the conquest of Nep-Nep, we will burn all records referring to Nep-Nep as Dnepropetrovsk, including this one.


: Davin, you’re getting an angry letter.


: Ahhh I can't decide, why is defending the motherland so hard.

I'll probably post a normal update tomorrow, but with the deadline extended enough to cover all of Christmas and then some. There is some chance I'll update throughout the holidays, but it depends on the participants (to whom I pledge no deadline will be set to a date earlier than December 28, regardless of how much we'll do during the holidays).

And a parting history note. Hitler's cries of an "Anti-Bolshevik crusade" have managed to sway many people across occupied Europe. Collaborators were quite numerous in many countries of the West, where German rule was far more lenient than east of the Oder. The guys in this picture are members of the French Legion.

In France, attitudes towards the war were very polarised. While the largest group was, as usual, the ones who didn't care all that much about going off to the war and preferred to be left alone, the ranks of both the collaborators and the anti-fascists were relatively very large. However, the Vichy French probably outnumbered the Free French and the resistance fighters by a significant margin, even if they were far less inclined to actually stand up for their cause. After all, the Vichy government was legitimized by such figures as Philippe Petain, the hero of the Great War, and was in a way the status quo government - meaning that it maintained a roughly stable situation that did not force you to go across the Channel to actually take up arms. The German propaganda also quite effectively created the image of France being used as a bumper, betrayed and abandoned by the British

An interesting thing to note is that the French of the Waffen-SS Division "Charlemagne" were the last defenders of the Fuhrer's bunker alongside the Scandinavians of Waffen-SS "Nordland".