Part 77: Turn 11 - Axis Detraining Phase: Hero City Leningrad
Operation Twilight: 1st Panzer vs 3rd Baltic
Combat odds: 5/7 = 1:2, modified -1 for Long Winter for a total of 1:3
Roll: 3 - CA!
CA opportunity accepted at 1:1 odds.
Roll: 3 - no effect
Operation Valkyrie: 17th Army vs 3rd Byelorussian
Combat odds: 3/7 = 1:3, modifed -1 for Long Winter - Automatic CA!
CA opportunity accepted at 2:1 odds. Soviets spend a Shock! marker to bump these odds to 3:1!
Roll: 2 - EX
17th Army takes a step loss and is eliminated. It goes to the Destroyed Units Box.
3rd Byelorussian takes a step loss and is eliminated. It goes to the Destroyed Units Box.
The Soviet Operation Redemption, aimed at enveloping the German forces around Kharkov, provokes a decisive response from the Germans, but its results are quite disastrous. In both areas taking part in the operation, the Axis troops are routed and forced to return to their defensive positions. The good news is that the Soviets failed to advance any closer to the crucial city, the bad news is that the 17th Army has been pretty much smashed, unable to combat the Soviet advance any further. This did, however, come at a steep price: Polkovnik AceRimmer, in charge of the 3rd Byelorussian Front, has himself been wounded in one of the many attacks that eventually broke down his entire Front.
Operation Bad Idea: 2nd Army vs Moscow Front
Combat odds: 4/2 = 2:1, modified -1 for Long Winter, -1 for Swamp for a total of 1:1
Roll: 5 - EX
2nd Army takes a step loss and is eliminated. It goes to the Destroyed Units Box.
Moscow Front takes a step loss and is eliminated. It goes to the Destroyed Units Box.
The Germans unwarily make a significant blunder as they engage an entrenched Soviet position in the Crimean Isthmus, hoping to gain a foothold on the other side. This ends in a disaster, as their troops are gunned down by the well-prepared Soviets, eventually managing to accomplish little of note other than the destruction of both sides' forces beyond the point where they are combat-capable in the slightest.
Operation Jiminy Cricket: 4th Panzer, 18th Army vs 5th Guards Tank Army
Combat odds: 8/8 = 1:1, modified -1 for Long Winter, -1 for Forest for a total of 1:3
Roll: 4 - CA!
CA opportunity refused.
Operation Jiminy Cricket will forever be known as little more as a footnote in history. It was a hopeless, last-ditch attempt to break out the encircled armies of Army Group Entrenched Mongoose, and it did not bring the miracle that was expected of it. The troops of the 4th Panzer receive a tragic order for those who have not seen more than an occasional firefight in over a year: destroy all their equipment, burn their new tanks, blow up whatever is left. Soon, the light of these funeral pyres for the tools of war can be seen all the way in Leningrad. Battered, but never broken, the city rejoices.
Operation Othello: 3rd Panzer, 4th Army, 4th Rumanian, 9th Army vs 2nd Tank
Combat odds: 14/5 = 2:1, modified -1 for Long Winter for a total of 3:2
Roll: 6 - DR
2nd Tank has no legal retreat path. It is thus eliminated and goes to the Destroyed Units Box.
The Soviets, however, have enjoyed not only successes this month. Their fortune is yet again reversed at Smolensk, where the forces which have trapped the AGC troops participating in the surprise attack on their flank are pocketed themselves by a decisive move of the 3rd Panzer Army. They fight valiantly and manage to get a large part of their force out of the pocket, but the difficult weather conditions prevent them from withdrawing completely and the unit is demolished, losing over 150 tanks to the snow and enemy action. The German armies around Smolensk are liberated from the pocket, but it is only a small consolation.
Axis Removals Phase
Disorganized marker removed from 11th Army.
Out of supply markers removed from 4th Army and 9th Army.
4th Panzer and 18th Army cannot trace supply - they SURRENDER! They are placed in the Surrendered Units Box and the Axis lose 1 VP for either of them, a total loss of 2 VPs. Axis VPs (and the Hight Tide) now at 17.
For their valiant effort, General-mayor HipsterRooster of the 5th Guards Tank Army and General-mayor Spookydonut of the Leningrad sector are both promoted to the rank of General-leytenant.
For his failure to save his troops or perish with them, Generalmajor HerpicleOmnicron5 is demoted to Oberst.
Axis Detraining Phase
The Axis may now detrain 2nd Panzer in any Axis-controlled City. They may also detrain it in any hex within two hexes of a City, provided that hex can trace an Overland Supply Path and is not in an Enemy Zone of Control. The deadline for this is Friday, May 23, 6 PM GMT.
In response to the great German defeat on the front, people back home are starting to whisper. The war has been going on for so long, yet not only has there been no success, but also now hundreds of thousands of their brothers, husbands and friends are gone to the gulags in the frozen expanses of Siberia. In Africa, the Wehrmacht is facing pressure from both Libya and Algeria. The Italian army has been nearly completely destroyed. The Americans have retaken Guadalcanal from the Japanese. To reaffirm the people's commitment to the war, Goebbels hosts a huge rally.
When it became clear that the tide had turned after the battle of Stalingrad, Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of the Third Reich, decided to ensure that the Germans remained committed to the war, fearing that an escalation of anti-war sentiments may lead to an overthrow of the Nazi regime - essentially a repeat of what the Nazis believed to have happened at the end of World War I. To do that, he hosted a rally in the Berlin Palace of Sport, where he gave his most famous speech. In front of a meticulously hand-picked audience, he asked if the Germans want total war to save Europe from Bolshevism. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive - as could be expected from an audience that essentially agreed with him even before he started to talk. Goebbels had managed to create an illusion of common support for the new policies that demanded more and more from the citizens, bolstering the German war effort, but also committing to a life or death struggle.