Part 7: Turn 4: July 10, 1941
New units form and all our planes land at their airbases in time for the axis turn. Some airbases are overloaded, some aren't even at half capacity. I'm probably going to have to spend a half an hour at some point and fix all them all but not right now.
Of special note this turn is we get our first new front with the Reserve Front showing up in front of Moscow. Getting a new front is a pretty big deal because not only does it let us effectively command a lot more troops but we get a huge one time infusion of admin points.
Right now the Red Army is a mess, divisions are wherever they ended up during the retreat with no real rhyme or reason. The Reserve Front showing up with its extra admin points is going to allow us to reorganize the Red Army into something that makes sense.
With our planes back in the air we're able to get a better idea of the disposition of the German forces. It looks like an infantry army is pushing slowly up through the Baltic states which is great. It's slow going there and they're going to be reaching the frontlines after weeks of marching on foot. In the center around Pskov another army or a corps is moving up to support the overextended panzer corps that's pushing for Leningrad and just to their south another infantry corps is pushing for the southern bank of lake Ilmen. As much as I hate to I might have to split some troops off from somewhere to reinforce the garrison at the lake. Those 3 infantry divisions won't slow down the Germans much.
The panzer corps attached to Army Group North is cut off again. Thanks to our recon planes we're able to spot the motorized division south of the SS Totenkopf division. This division prevents us from being able to cut off the elite division for a second turn, but I'll gladly take the 5 divisions still in my pocket.
The reformed and reinforced 27th Army, highlighted in blue. The closer units are in the oob the better they fight together and we get higher chances of reserve activations. Reserve activations are when units in reserve mode join in a defensive or offensive battle taking place nearby. This will allow us to make punching through our lines harder while also maintaining depth. These units now also have access to the army HQ's attached support units which will get sent out if the leader of the army passes a check during combat. Finally this gives us a chance to look at every unit and evaluate them. The units in worst shape get rotated to the rear and set to refit. If I had the space and time these units would get pulled off the line entirely and sent 100 miles or so behind the lines to refit and retrain, but we don't have that luxury right now.
A problem we're going to run into very rapidly is that we simply don't have enough command points (CP) in our front HQs to go around. Command points represent the number of units a front can handle before it gets overloaded and starts racking up penalties. A normal division takes 2 CP, so you can see that there's not much left to go around. The southwestern front in particular already criminally overloaded at nearly double capacity.
Honestly there's not much we can do about it. Most of our fronts are going to end up overloaded this year and I'm going to compensate for it by trying to assign quality commanders to the armies themselves and mostly ignore the higherups in the fronts unless someone really awful sneaks in.
The reformed armies of the Northwestern and Northern front. I don't mess with the commanders just yet, none of them are unbearably bad so they keep their commands until I've got some AP to spare on getting my best commanders to the right fronts.
Other than making these armies and shifting a few units around our lines stay basically the same, the Panzers are too busy trying to secure their supply lines to threaten me so we can just dig in.
We pull back from the Finnish border, retreating to the Finnish no attack line.
The 90th rifle division, cut off from supply since June 22nd begins to march on Riga.
Well this isn't pretty. Time to fall back!
Better, we also take this opportunity to reform into armies as you can see.
Outside Moscow the refitting divisions are formed into armies and assigned to the Reserve Front
Outside Orel the 28th army is built from scratch, slapped together from empty shells of units that formed in the area. These units are going to spend the next several turns building up to full strength and training after which they're going to be the emergency reserve. If the Panzers punch a hole in a line I can't patch these guys are going to scream in on a train to prevent a breakthrough.
I'm curious as to what the Germans are planning down here, until they decide there's not much we can do besides dig in.
The forces around Kiev reorganize themselves into armies, at this point I run out of Admin points so the Southern front will have to wait a turn or two before they can join the rest of the army in making sense.
North of Kiev the 21st Army forms. This force's job will be to bridge the line between the tail end of the Western Front and the Southwestern front. If the Germans send any armored units to this area I will almost certainly rail in 1-2 more armies to reinforce it. Until then they can refit and prepare to become part of the front line.
The Southern Front abandons Odessa and pulls back across the Yuzhny Bug river, leaving only a token force to defend the city. There's now a continuous line of troops stretching from Kiev to the Black Sea.
First up is Odessa, the city is doomed to fall in a turn or two so everyone . I could fight for this city, devoting a few cavalry divisions would force the Germans to bring a few of the German divisions attached to the Romanian army down but I don't really care much. I'd rather fall back to the major rivers in the area and force the Romanians to try to cross opposed by entrenched, rested divisions.
We use our remaining rail cap to grab the Heavy Industry we left behind in Gomel and Kiev last turn. The only other factories under threat of being taken or cut off are Leningrad in the North and Nikolaev to the east of Odessa. Nikolaev won't be in range of the slow Romanian troops for another turn or so and with the Panzer corps in the north cut off for a second turn running I would be very surprised if they managed to punch all the way through my defences to Leningrad in a single turn.
Army Group North re-establishes supply and protects it this time, we won't be cutting off entire panzer corps up here anymore.
Army Group Center's panzer armies split again, one blasting a hole near Smolensk and the other pushing to the gap between the Western Front and the 21st Army. We're going to have to do something about this but I'm not sure what yet.
The panzers swing back north and the battle for Kiev begins with a 2 stage attack on the outer fortifications requiring nearly all the troops that are this far east. With the defensive value of Kiev proper soaring over 100 will the Germans find a way to dislodge them?
I feel less rushed now, we've bought time and we're putting it to good use. Now I just need to find a new Panzer corps to torment