Part 38: Turn 6 - Axis Detraining Phase: Second Volkhov. Oka Offensive.
4th Panzer, 18th Army vs Bryansk Front
Combat odds: 8/3 = 2:1 - shifted -1 for Long Winter for a total of 3:2
Roll: 4 - Exchange
4th Panzer takes a step loss.
Bryansk Front takes a step loss and is eliminated. It goes to the Destroyed Units Box.
The Germans push in the north and come to blows with the Bryansk Front defending the path east of the City of Lenin. Both sides take heavy casualties, but by the end of the day it's the Soviets who can't fight on. What's more, poor communications and the sorry state of transport infrastructure up north makes it difficult for them to withdraw, netting the Germans a bunch of POWs. The 4th Panzer has lost a large part of its armoured strength, however, and it will need to be reinforced if it is to continue putting pressure on Leningrad.
2nd Panzer, 3rd Panzer vs Northwest Front
Combat odds: 13/3 = 4:1 - shifted -1 for Forest, -1 for Long Winter for a total of 2:1
Roll: 1 - no effect
The German Panzer Armies prepare to dislodge the Soviet Northwest Front in order to broaden their penetration towards Moscow and threaten the Red Army supply lines in the south. A breakthrough here would have been most dangerous, which is why Polkovnik MonotoneMorgan ordered his man to not fall a step back, regardless of how the battle progresses. Early engagements prove indecisive, and a freak weather occurrence means that the ice on the Oka river melts for a couple of days, rising the water level to levels preventing the crossing. At this point, Field Marshall Paul von Kleist is asked to intervene and provide supplies and additional engineering assets capable of preparing a stable enough pontoon bridge.
Paul von Kleist is used to reroll!
Reroll: 1 - no effect
He agrees, but before all those forces arrive from the south, the Soviets are already firmly entrenched at the points the Germans tried to secure to perform the crossing. Seeing this, the Germans decide to wait for better weather before actually committing to this battle. For his successful defence against overwhelming odds, Polkovnik MonotoneMorgan receives a favourable mention in the Pravda, as well as the army dispatches. At this point, his pictures (in the form of newspaper cutouts) decorate 1 bulletin board (in the factory where his parents work). This counter will no doubt get higher as the war drags on.
Generalfeldmarschall Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist was a son of an aristocratic family (can't you tell?). He started off as a cavalry commander in World War I, going as far as division command in the interwar years. In April 1939, he was already preparing for retirement, but was suddenly called back to active duty. He was made a Panzer Corps commander in the Invasion of Poland, then of a Panzer Group during the Fall of France. Now he's in charge of the 1st Panzer Army. In 1942, he commanded troops in the Caucasus and was later made the commander of Army Group A (tasked with securing the Caucasus oil fields). By 1943 he was promoted to field marshal, but in 1944 Hitler removed him from command for allowing the 8th Army to retreat when facing destruction by the Red Army, which was in violation of the dictator's orders. Arrested in 1945 in Yugoslavia, he was handed over to the Soviets and sentenced to ten years in prison, where he died in 1952. He was the highest-ranked German officer to die in Russian captivity.
1st Panzer, 2nd Army, 6th Army, 11th Army vs Crimean Front
Combat odds: 18/3 = 6:1 - shifted +1 for Blitz!, +1 for Luftwaffe Support, -1 for Long Winter for a total of 6:1.
Roll: 6 - Defender Destroyed
Crimean Front retreats two hexes and takes a step loss. It goes to the Destroyed Units Box.
Combat odds cannot be higher than 6:1, so the Germans basically wasted a card or a token here. But for the Soviets, this is silver lining at best.
The Germans rally a massive force in order to smash through the Soviets threatening their supply line and reinforce their position in preparation for a summer offensive. The Crimean Front has simply no way to counter their onslaught, with tanks, aircraft and masses of infantry pushing in from all directions. By the time its commanders order a retreat, it is already way, way too late and the 1st Panzer Army's tanks are already cutting off its retreat. Thanks to German fuel shortages, about half of the Crimean Front manages to get out of the pocket, but the rest never gets a chance. The 11th Army is hot on their heels and simply smashes them apart against the raiding German tanks.
Axis Removals Phase
Out of supply marker is removed from 1st Panzer and 6th Army in Kharkov.
German Detraining Phase
HerpicleOmnicron5 may now detrain any number of the Axis units in the Axis Railroad Movement Box. They have to be either placed in German-controlled cities or within three hexes of such a city. If they're not placed in a City, they may not be placed in an EZOC or a hex that is an enemy-controlled City or adjacent to one.
The deadline for this is Tuesday, January 14th, 7 PM GMT.
But the next morning, STAVKA will be sober.
You either wish a truly horrible fate on Fangz or have no idea how things are run east of the Oder.