After a fast start as outlined in the various threads below and video updates the Germans and their allies are now in the thick of it.
Before we look too deeply at the situation lets recap our objectives.
The Victory Conditions for 1941 are almost not achievable given current conditions but that can all change, with a Freeze and not too much damage to the Tank /Truck forces.
We however set more modest goals with a longer term plan in mind. The Schwerpunkt would be focused upon the North for October and November in an effort to press to Moscow.
But serious effort would be allocated to the South to prepare for a strong opening in 1942, where the success criteria change significantly (See VIDEO).
The Axis set out in the 3 main areas (North/Central and South) to achieve the following based upon Directive #35 from the Fuhrer:
Proceed down the Dkharshehama road and clear to Beliyy road. In a Northly orientated sweep to envelope VYAZMA from the North.
SS:T upon arrival to work towards RZHEV in support of 6th and 7th Panzer who are supported by 36th Motorized. 19th exploit breaches made.
Done. 6th and 1wt Panzer also partially encircled Rhzev, despite severe supply challenges.
NOTE IMAGES BELOW. YELLOW BOXES ARE SOVIET LOCATIONS. RED LINES EXTENT OF AXIS ADVANCE.
4th Army proceed to envelope VYAZMA, clear immediate resistance via encirclement.
Done and pressed on further:
4th PG Army
40XXX to move from Snopt with 2nd and 10th Panzerand 19th Pzr; + 20th and SS:R to encircle and isolate Bryansk at Zhizda 5th of October.
46XXX 5th and 11th Panzer + 3rd Motorized go from Roslavl to Spas Demyansk – onto VYAZMA (Sth East Army
Map C. Foot slog with 1st Cav to Bryansk and seek opportunities to capture SP.
80% Encircled but not captured. The Brynsk pocket received significant SP to hold longer than anticipated and a lack of SP meant attacks were not an option. The Armies resources were required for a strong push on Kursk which was weak enough to be attacked.
2nd PG Army
3rd and 4th Panzer to Orel
17th and 18th Panzer. Review orders Ponyri – Kursk or to the South East of Kursk.
We had hoped that after taking Orel that 3rd and 4th would be able to press onto Tula with a view to a quick assault there alas this did not occur, and Tula is now heavily reinforced.
9th Pzr and 16th Motorized – take Belgorod NE of Kharkov. Prepare to transfer to 2PG Army at or near Kursk.
1st PG Army
14th, 16th, 13th Panzer, SS:W and 60th Motorized are ordered to plan approaches to Rostov. Encirclement of immediate enemy a priority.
Infantry to clear route to and approach Kharkov. LAH – clear approaches to Stalino/Rostov .
While the roads to Stalino are mostly open, the ability to drive forces forward is not. Rail conversion and bunny hoping wagon extenders is proving challenging as the focus for rail efforts was in the North due to impending weather there.
Begin approach to Sevastopol.
If we look at the following images the Task Forces achieved all of their goals barring SS:LAH and the Bryansk pocket while closed has not fallen.
How did supply fall for both sides?
The average per turn for the Germans should be 13 SP, on 2 turns they received less – 9 SP and on three turns they took 15. The upside is marginally higher while the downside is a whopping 30.7% less.
Exact SP accrued excluding that at start and arriving via wagon or truck reinforcement, note that while the Soviets took 5 above average SP allocation turns the increase is only 3 extra SP or 15 SP total.
On the surface not a big deal but this could allow the creation of 7 extra Hedge Hogs to put some perspective on it:
The losses for the Soviets were significant, but trailed near the end of the month as Mud kicked in. The other significant factor was lack of PAX for replacements; just 7 in the entire month.
Axis replacements were better and losses much lighter.
I think that I may have brought 2 armoured regiments back into battle too early (PAX/EQ error). The tail end of the month saw little fighting so the impact so far is not a game changer. I may swap out the 2 SS units for 2 regiments of armour to ‘fix’.
Overall lighter losses than expected, some fighters were replaced also and 1 bomber unit recovered!
The situation looks like this on the ground:
Map looking North and South:
Some more detail close up outlining progress from starting positions:
Army Group Center now has to prepare for the upcoming Freeze. The last turn of Oct reverted back to Light Mud, and on the slim chance that we have clear weather we can make perhaps either a push on Rzhev with combat forces, or drive to the rear of Tula.
The ability of the Germans to stay in supply in this area has been hampered by slow moving trucks ferrying supply. With the Rail almost to Vyazma this will soon change. Extenders can now carefully move forward to allow extend operations as far as the gates of Moscow IF desired. A future post will detail plans for next month.
-Images show movement —> and current positions in red:
The push on Kursk caught the Soviets napping as they focused upon Tula and the press from Orel. By diverting South we have opened up Axis options and spread the defense thinly.
The forces in and around Kursk can either re direct North to Tula via Yelets, head east to Voronezh or more likely head South to link up with AGS near Belgorod, and attempt to cut off the rail supply to Kharkov.
Supply net would have to be adjusted to accommodate, but Kursk will have converted rail the 1st of November and a wagon extender will suffice until a re tweak of nets up North is sorted out.
It would be worth it to drop 5 trucks south to assist. This would mean we should seriously consider Schwerpunkt to the South Maps and identify how to destroy the soviets in early 1942.
The forces of AGS are doing a pretty good job with limited supply, and limited forces. 2 additional Divisions would make a big impact coming from the North.
At the moment its supply net is evolving and should be in a situation by mid November to support early efforts on Stalino- Rostov. If we can choke down supply and reinforcement for the Soviets to smaller and smaller areas in this difficulty terrain and cut the rail net, the entire SW Front could collapse.
With a renewed focus on the South Sevastopol comes into play, the efforts here will be required to be increased and significant increase in tempo. Which will mandate more SP. Taking on the 4 level high HH is daunting and some arty will be needed ASAP!
Next up, A look at the Soviet defenses for the month, November plans for both sides and some image summaries of the overall locations.
A new gallery of all images for October will be available on Facebook also.