Part 12: Turn 9: August 14, 1941
We're going to be giving up a lot of territory this turn, but we've got to do it to maintain our safety.
Another mediocre commander gets promoted, this one is leading the northern flank of the Southern front. He's gotten promoted because he has the distinction of having a 4:1 W/L ratio, the best in the Soviet army.
The Germans aren't making a whole lot of progress here, we're just going to keep rebuilding our lines deeper and deeper as the Germans beat them up.
I actually condense the Northwestern front a little bit, this raises our defensive CV in exchange for depth. This should slow the Germans down on this side even more, since they'll have to devote more divisions and more MP to take a single hex.
The rest of the front stays spread out for depth, I also stick the 22nd army in the Northwest front since they had a bit of spare room.
Finally we rail in some units to flesh out the 23rd army. This army is going to be charged with the defense of Leningrad itself, so these units are going to train up and dig in.
We're lucky to not have a bunch of encircled divisions this turn, unfortunately all the divisions that routed from the pocket are going to be useless for several turns.
The shattered 10th army starts reforming to the north of the front. They'll refit slower than they would if I pulled them off the line completely but I need to stop the Germans from advancing unopposed up here and they won't reach this line for a turn or so.
The 4th army suffered the worst from the pocket and is pulled off the line completely. They won't be in shape for 2 weeks at a minimum.
Pulling back, there's a lot of German tanks in this screenshot.
The southern tip of the line with our first sighting of Italian units.
The 43rd army gets assigned to the Moscow MD and moves to start digging in on the outskirts of the city. The reserve front will be the front line next turn or the turn after, so we need to start digging forts behind it so they are always retreating into fortified positions rather than open land.
We're going to be falling way back this turn, the situation in Kiev has become untenable and if we stick around much longer we're going to lose half this front.
Kiev is abandoned. The forts in and around Kiev have been invaluable for stalling the Germans but it's no longer safe to stay there, if the Germans had managed to encircle us we could easily have lost 2 whole armies. By falling back we shorten the line which lets us pull the 18th army off the line.
In the south we pull back to get rid of that horrific salient that had been forming. Pulling back and straightening out the line like this has allowed us to pull 2 whole armies off the line, the 32nd and the 16th.
The only city I feel could fall next turn is Kalinin so we grab the armament factories. I'm leaving the heavy industry behind for now because I'm starting to get worried about some large cities that the Germans are creeping up on.
Tula is south of Moscow and has an enormous armaments factory. It's a bit behind the lines but since both of Army Group Center's panzer armies are pointed directly at this city I'm getting a bit antsy about all these factories sitting here. This is a 2 turn job so we grab as much as we can and we'll come back later for the rest.
The push for Leningrad continues.
German units pushing for Moscow, we're gonna have to put up a stiffer defense here to slow them down.
The other panzer army in the area pushes for Tula. We've got enough divisions in the area we should be able to deal with this without stripping forces from elsewhere, which is handy because...
It's a good thing we fell back when we did, that's 2 of our best armies and some supporting units. Luckily the Germans weren't able to finish the pocket but damn did they get a lot closer than I thought they would. Depending on the scouting reports this will either be very easy or very hard to get out of. Worst case I think will be 1 army, there's too many mobile units in that pocket and not enough Germans to keep me from getting most of them out.
Further south the Germans and their allies catch up to the new line and push it around a little bit, nothing frightening.
Another huge near-pocket, luckily this one looks a lot easier to get out of than the last one. Other than that I'm starting to feel really pressed for time. Mud doesn't start until mid October so I've got a lot of stalling to do.
Soviet ground losses break 1 million but our OOB keeps swelling in size. The rate we get new units should start to rise again as well.