Part 13: Turn 10: August 21, 1941
I do like that that southern pocket can easily be seen from space, we're so lucky that the Germans weren't able to close it.
The noose is starting to tighten up here, time to start falling east a bit.
The whole front contracts in on itself, doing this abandons those beautiful level 3 forts along the river but I couldn't hang onto those with panzers threatening to cut my formation in half anyways. The goal here is going to be to keep condensing these forces until we hit the level 4 forts, at which point the Germans shouldn't be able to make any progress until they isolate the city. We've got too many troops on the west side of this front for my liking and next turn I'm gong to try to shift the whole line east a bit to prevent the panzers looping around the line.
The panzers are swinging south for Tula and I've got to get some bodies in the way.
On the northern edge of the front recon reports a tank and motorized division with accompanying infantry.
The 13th gets pulled off the frontline and shipped up here. I was going to have to get them off the line this turn or next turn anyways, so now they're in position to move wherever the Germans break through this light screen.
80 miles from Moscow we're going to start refusing to fall back. We harden the line by sticking well equipped units on the front and then have some depth behind it to prevent breakthroughs if the line breaks.
Further south we don't have the quality troops or the fortifications we have near Moscow, so we've forced to continue rely on depth
The southern tip of the Bryansk front launches a few attacks, forcing back a Hungarian and Italian division and opening up another route into the huge pocket forming in the south.
Behind the lines we have the 49th army forming up from the empty shells that are appearing and the 4th army which is recovering from having nearly it's entire strength pocketed and routed. In the rout they lost most of their supporting guns and their morale is garbage, it will be several turns before either of these armies is fit for combat.
I'm not really sure how to take pictures of this front anymore, I think we'll have to split its reports in two next turn.
Well here's the star of the show. Half the strength of the Southwestern front, 2 whole armies with some of our best troops are inches from being pocketed and captured. Luckily we've got 3 things going for us.
1. The army wasn't completely cut off last turn, so they're still in supply now. This means they're able to move quickly and during the coming axis turn they'll be able to defend themselves.
2. As you can see at the top of the picture the Bryansk front was able to attack the Hungarian and Italian divisions that formed the northern tip of the pocket. By taking control of those hexes we've cut off 4 German tank/motor divisions, a Hungarian motor brigade and an SS motor brigade. These units won't be able to move far or attack well during the coming axis turn, which may save us from having the pocket fully closed.
3. The pocket is weak and poorly screened, that picture is after recon flights so there's plenty of exits we can make.
The northern half of the pocket after my moves. This half has secured 2 lines of supply, one of which is protected by a cavalry division that must be defeated to cut us off again. The Axis divisions in the northern pocket might be able to free themselves. If not the Romanians and Italians certainly won't be able to do it, necessitating that those Panzer divisions waste time and MP coming over to break the pocket. A bit below that we've got the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler motorized division cut off by what is effectively the entire 12th army. To rescue their Führer's bodyguard they're going to have to cut through the what is probably the best army in our OOB.
The southern half of the pocket after moves and recon. 2 Panzer divisions, 1 Romanian armored division and the Wiking SS motorized division pocketed by the 6th army. The Axis dramatically overcomitted to a weak pocket that they failed to close and now they're paying the price. If they been able to cover those last 10 miles last turn neither the 6th nor 12th armies would have been able to move this far and most of the divisions would have surrendered during the next Axis turn. As it stands I'm fairly confident I'm going to get away with losing only a handful of units and if I'm really lucky we might keep these panzer divisions pocketed for another turn.
Just south of the pockets we launch an attack on a German infantry division and force it to retreat, making the 97th Jager division the first German formation in the war to retreat from a Soviet one. The first of many.
The rest of the front is the normal pattern, fallback a little and reform lines. There is a lot of German infantry here for being this far south, the Germans don't seem to trust their Romanian allies to get the job done.
The 16th army packs up and catches a train to Moscow. The Western front doesn't have any armies spare that are of high enough quality that I can actually call them reserves, so the 16th moves up to take the job.
I swing back to the Southwestern front and finish off these pockets by comitting the 18th army. Before the 18th was deployed here there were 0 units in front of these tanks. Even cut off they probably could have made a lot of ground and cut rail lines, displaced airfields and created a huge nuisance.
We spend our entire rail cap railing some armament factories and the T-34 factories out of Kharkov.
Not a whole lot of activity up here, the Germans move up to our lines and launch a handful of attacks
North of Moscow the Panzers push the line back 10 miles, South of Moscow they can't even manage that.
In the land of messy lines one pocket holds. The northern pocket is blasted open immediately, the only thing holding it together was an anti-tank brigade. The center pocket is held against all attempts to open it and the southern pocket is opened, barely. Those southern tanks are going to be re-encircled immediately, the only question is whether I'll try to hold the pocket or if I'll do it just to mess with their supply.
These units on the other hand are in for a bad fucking turn, it's time for some revenge.
And the Southern front continues to be slowly pushed back, yawn.
I'm going to fuck that SS division up something fierce.