Part 9: Turn 6: July 24, 1941
Even less units this turn! This isn't going to really pick back up for about a month so we're just going to have to make due.
The partisan formations are starting to fill out. I'd love to see some rail lines get cut but it will probably be a few more weeks before these are strong enough to do it.
The northern front is still relatively quiet. The finns are moving up to their lines on the border and the German infantry are finally arriving at the front lines. I imagine we're going to take more of a beating during the upcoming German turn than we have in awhile.
The largest concern on this front. They're devoting enough troops here that I'm going to need to rail in troops from somewhere else to reinforce this. I don't want to strip troops from the defense of Leningrad so I'm going to reroute some troops that were headed for Moscow.
2 combat ready divisions ship in from Moscow to reinforce the front line and 4 shells show up to join in once they're ready. I also shave off an armored division and another infantry division from Leningrad to fill out the 23rd army. I'm going to have to find a front to assign this army to but not yet.
More shattered front lines, time to fall back.
The 31st army rails to the northern flank of the line to keep the Germans hooking around through the gap.
The western front falls back a few miles. Every army has 1-2 routed divisions that did not recover at the start of the turn. These divisions are useless in combat until they recover, they can't even force the Germans to waste MPs attacking.
Orel's 28th army ships out to reinforce the line and relieve the battered 21st.
Another reserve army, the 43rd, starts grouping up outside Moscow. With the decrease in the amount of free troops I'm getting I can't throw together an entire army every turn anymore.
This front is getting huge, both in terms of space and number of troops present. I'll probably end up splitting this section in two once we get into more action.
We've been pushed almost entirely across the river with roughly an armies worth of troops on the western bank. If the Germans get a bridgehead I'm going to abandon the city unless I can push them back over immediately.
In the south the Germans have moved up to our line with a Fliegerkorps division and a... Romanian tank division. Let's do something about that.
Victory! First we soften it up with a bombing run (or 4) and then launch a deliberate attack across the river, forcing them to retreat in disgrace. I probably didn't need to bomb them so much but I didn't want our first attack of the game to fail, that'd be bad luck.
Not much else to do down here, I set most of the second and thirdline units to reserve mode (purple) to help toughen up the frontline and I set the units in poor shape to refit.
The cities most endangered this turn are Bryansk and Ordzhonikidzegrad. Luckily I don't have to know how to spell the city's name to evacuate it, I just have to click on it.
Ordzhonikidzegrad gets cleaned out and Bryansk leaves a single heavy industry factory behind. I use my leftover rail cap to grab a single armament factory out of Vsevolzhsky, next to Leningrad.
Army Group North captures Novgorod and devoted 2 entire infantry Corps to looping around the south of Lake Ilmen. If we're lucky one of them will move south towards Moscow, the terrain in that direction is goddamn awful and they won't get anywhere even though that's a ~200 mile wide gap in my line with 0 troops in it.
Army Group Center blasts into my line further south than they did last time. The bulk of their forces slam into the bit of the line shared between the western front and the Orel military district. I actually prefer this to them attacking further North, I've got way more land to throw away down here. I would prefer to not engage the Reserve Front in battle for as long as possible, the longer they can dig in and train the better. They're probably going to be on the front sometime in August, if I can keep them in the rear until September that would be incredible.
No battles around Kiev, no tanks either. Where did they all go?
Well this is why we keep reserve armies disengaged in the rear. The 16th army outside Kharkov is going to get railed in to plug this gap before it turns into something even more dangerous. Also here we get our (I think) first sighting of the elite SS Wiking motorized division.
The Germans are starting to pick up the pace again, infantry divisions are showing up everywhere and huge holes are getting blown in my lines. Also we attacked something! I'd also like to note we've had way less executions than I normally do. By this point Stalin has usually executed 1-2 front commanders with the Western Front almost always getting it. So far this game all I think we've had is 2 dismissals.
The Soviet army swells to over 5 million men under arms this turn. Air losses are spiraling out of control, I'm going to have to rejigger our airbases again.