Part 10: Turn 7: July 31, 1941
I really need to mess with our air units to stop them getting slaughtered but I don't want to deal with it now so we're gonna put it off till later. To the front!
After a 2 week lull the Germans are on the offense up here again. Novgorod has fallen so we're gonna fall back a little bit.
We pull back a tiny bit and also make some lines to slow down those infantry corps if they come up the east side of the lake. Not much else to do up here.
Big hole in our lines, gonna fix it.
Fix the middle by falling back a bit. The Western front is now 10 miles from the reserve front, if we have to fall back more than ~20-30 miles I'm just going to pull the Western front behind the reserve and set them to refit.
Working our way down the line a bit we run into the 3rd army (highlighted in blue.) Made up of 10 divisions it has 2 that are fit for frontline duty. The 2 tank divisions are fit since I've been keeping tank divisions towards the rear when possible to preserve AFV numbers. Besides those 2 divisions it has 5 infantry divisions that are capable of combat and then 3 that aren't. I'm gonna pull the whole mess off the line and rail in a reserve army, these units aren't going to do anything but shatter if the panzers make a run for them.
The 3rd pulls off the line to rest and refit and the 33rd comes in to take their place. Sticking the 33rd into the Orel M.D. is going to overload it for the next few turns but that's alright since we'll be getting some more capacity soon.
A dramatic swing to the south, can we fix our lines?
Outside Kiev I decide to put all these great divisions sitting in fortifications to work.
3 attacks are launched, we push back an SS calvary brigade and an infantry division and fail to move a security regiment. Taking victories like this when we can get them is really valuable. It boosts our morale while degrading the German morale and if any individual unit wins enough battles it can be promoted to Guards status. We'll go over them in more detail later but Guard divisions tend to be much more effective in combat than normal formations.
I ship in the 16th army from Kharkov to plug the gap in this breakthrough. We fall back a little while holding the east bank of the river. Depending on what the Germans do here the entire Southern front may need to pull back to prevent from being encircled.
2 battles down here. We force a romanian division to retreat while another holds firm. Other than that we don't move an inch, I want to make the Germans to cross the river opposed so I'm not handing them the Eastern bank until that panzer army forces me to.
Evac time! We technically still hold Bryansk from last turn but the rail line has been cut and the Germans are too close so that heavy industry factory we left behind is going to burn.
Nikolaev has a bunch of Germans on its doorstep so these factories are unable to be evacuated. A shame but there's no way were were going to be able to save everything.
Northeast of Leningrad we pull 7 Armaments factories out. The only factories left in this entire area are a single heavy industry factory and some armored car factories in Leningrad proper. I'll get the heavy industry out if I have 10k free rail points during a turn but otherwise I don't care much, we're essentially done evacuating up here.
Kirovograd finds itself suddenly on the front lines as the German panzer army swings south, so we grab everything and ship it out.
We also grab some tank and airplane factories out of Moscow proper. Moscow and it's surrounding urban areas have a ton of vehicle factories we need to evacuate so I'm going to start grabbing some whenever I have a chance.
I should note before I hit end turn I spent about 2 hours dicking around so as to avoid messing with airgroups. I hate dealing with the airforce in this game I could post a bunch of screenshots of spreadsheets covered in nonsense abbreviations but instead I'll say I probably doubled if not tripled the number of fighters we're going to have have in the air which will hopefully curtail the speed at which we're losing planes. I also squeezed in a few more tactical and level bombers where I can find space for them.
Panzer divisions push north from Novgorod. South of lake Ilmen an infantry division is cut off. I might be able to save them, we'll find out.
Fuuuuck. The 10th and 4th armies are shattered, with most of the 4th being just 10 miles from getting encircled. There's no rail out of that pocket so I imagine most of those divisions won't make the trek out before next turn.
Outside Kiev the Germans push another of my stacks across the river. We've only got 9 divisions on the western side now.
Uh huh. Well they're across the Dnepr. Depending on the recon reports I might be able to cut off any division that's on the eastern side which would be nice.
The Romanians have completely occupied the western bank and I imagine they're going to try to cross next turn.
Almost an entire army as good as encircled, Germans on the eastern bank of the Dnepr, a fun turn. Now we're reaping the rewards of the last few slow turns. German infantry are catching up to our lines and it looks like their supply lines are catching up too.
I'm going to laugh if air losses speed up because I have more planes in the air next turn.