Part 19: Turn 16: October 2, 1941
Brigades! So many brigades. This is also the first week of October which means a bunch of things happen.
The commander of the 21st army, in charge of the defense of Kursk is promoted. With 14 victories and only 10 defeats he's doing pretty well for a Soviet general. He also has a nice moustache. Some other guy gets dismissed but I can barely be bothered to manage my air groups let alone micromanage their commanders.
Our tank brigades get a new ToE after just one month. The only difference is they have 26 less light tanks than they did before. It's a good change, about 4-5 of our divisions/brigades had the full 64 that the ToE called for. There are now less than 1900 men in a tank brigade and in January STAVKA is going to downsize these units again by nearly half.
The Reserve front gets renamed to the Kalinin front. I'm not sure which name is worse, they've been a frontline force for months so they're not really a reserve front but Kalinin has been behind enemy lines for about 2 weeks now.
Also it's not visible ingame but sine June 22nd our units have been capped to 18 movement points. Most units don't get that many but our tanks and cavalry divisions have been suffering from it. Now that we're in October our units are free to get as much MP as they can.
The final pre-turn thing this turn can be spotted from the overview map, directly west of Moscow.
For their heroic defense of Moscow and with an amazing 7:1 win/loss ratio the 247th Rifle Division is promoted to Guards status. Guards units aren't technically elite units like the SS but being Guards carries a number of advantages. Guards units have higher morale than normal units, so they fight better and are better trained than a normal division. They're also supposed to get first pick on replacements and equipment, but I'm not sure if that part is actually modeled ingame. Finally over time their TOE will diverge from a normal rifle division's, meaning that a Guards division is actually (slightly) stronger than its normal equivilant on paper.
The biggest change here is the morale, morale and experience have huge effects in combat and Guards get more of both.
The city is going to be cut off but I doubt they'll cut supply before the mud comes.
Adding some depth to stop these Germans from breaking through the line.
And in the east the 52nd army shows up to put an end to those Germans running rampant.
We're being pressured here but I don't think we're in danger of our line shattering. The major German forces are all down by Tula.
North of the city we condense on the river while adding some depth near the German armor.
We take our new Guards division out for a spin and kill some Germans, more victories is always nice.
This reminded me that going on the offensive is a ton of fun so I beat up a few other German divisions for good measure.
Why is this still called the Bryansk front? Bryansk is 140+ miles behind enemy lines. I'm gonna assume it's named that way because we're supposed to take back Bryansk, which makes sense because this front won't get renamed until '44. As to the actual war going on I wish the Germans would stop attacking here, this is the only place on the map that I have to stop and think about what I'm going to do every turn.
Fall back 2 hexes and reorganize the line, not much else we can do. I don't have enough troops to make a real frontline so our only defense here is depth. If they keep driving east here it's going to make a very noticable bulge in our line.
On the southern edge of the front we beat up a bunch of Italians but don't do much else. Part of the reason Italian units are garbage is their national morale for the duration of the war is locked to 35. For comparison, Soviet national morale in '41 starts at 50 and the Germans start at 75. I also just learned that the word 'Italy' only appears in the (nearly 400 page) manual 7 times while looking up that information, poor Italians.
Ughh stop punching holes in my line. We're condensing these fronts back into one report because the entire Southwestern front is somehow only covering about 100 miles of the line, slackers.
The nice thing about having such a huge front covering so little ground is it lets you get really dense. Next turn the southwestern front is going to expand up north and hopefully take over the tail end of the Bryansk front, allowing more troops to ship up towards Tula and the bulge forming therabouts.
Beep boop fall back to the river.
Hahaha there's nothing but Romanians down here, good luck getting across that river guys.
Everyone Having to evacuate Rybinsk in '41 (or ever) is a little embarrassing but it's the price I pay for completely ignoring everything between Moscow and Leningrad for about a month.
The city is cut off by land, all supplies from now on will flow across Lake Ladoga. Trapped inside the city are two full armies and their supporting units, godspeed men.
The Germans launch a direct assault on the city of Leningrad. Over 100,000 men and 1,500 artillery pieces take horrific losses as the well entrenched defenders easily repel them. The Germans don't even manage to reduce the fortification level, what a tremendous waste of life.
The pressure mounts outside Moscow, doubly so now that the Germans have managed to take a hex on my side of the river. Eagle eyed readers may notice the new Guards division in the screenshot, Moscow is the breeding ground of heroes apparently.
My beautiful lines...
Outside Dnepropetrovsk the Axis forces push forward and split the North Caucausus M.D. forces in two by taking a hex on the western bank of the river. Luckily all the factories in this region are long gone, we're only here to kill Germans and stall.
I was not expecting a direct assault on Leningrad, this could go real bad if they get some sappers up there to reduce my fortifications.
Look at that bulge. It's fine as long as we can keep stretching and prevent a breakthrough. I'd love to hold it until the mud hits, all those Germans will be impossible to supply.
Permanent Soviet losses break 1.5 million men but the Germans are paying for it dearly.