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Europa Games and Military History

Month: November 2019

1943 FEB II Axis Turn

Turn Summary

The Axis decide the time has come in the north to stop running and to deal the Soviets a mortal blow. The two most advanced Soviet stacks project a single hex into the German lines. Powerful forces lead by first line panzer units mass to counter attack.

However the victory is a pyric one at best. To paraphrase the words of the indomitable Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. “To roll a one and Exchange against a 24 point stack may be considered unfortunate, but to follow that by rolling a second Exchanging against a 38 point stack is positively careless.”

And thus it was; a massive bloodletting which eliminates 3 Soviet Mech divisions (one guards) 3 Guards rifles and numerous rockets support troops and an artillery division cadre. However the Exchange is a terribly high cost (DRs would have achieved enough.  As the attacker and ensuring AEC is <50% means the Germans can use infantry for most losses but 5 divisions are cadred including a mech xx.

The next few turns will reveal if this is sufficient to blunt the blows from the Soviet colossus.

Turn Report

Weather. The false spring in the south ends with snow returning across the map.

Finland & Army of Norway: The rout continues in the centre and the Germans the north are reduced to a small perimeter around Murmansk and scattered units fleeing towards the Norwegian border.

In the south the legendary Finnish motti launches a desperate breakout assault against a lone 4-6 XX barring its path and eliminates the Soviet driving 16 more miles westwards. Meanwhile the last reinforcements arrive in Helsinki as a 5-6 German division rails into the city just before a Soviet tank corps swings south to cut the route to Hango forever.

The Axis counteroffensive in the North ends in a bloodbath

The Axis counteroffensive in the North ends in a bloodbath

AGN The soviet drive which project one hex into the line occupying the vital railroad from Veliki Luki is assaulted and eliminated! But in an exchange infliction a 24 point loss on the Axis attacker.

Immediately to the south of Kalinin the exercise is repeated and a massive Soviet mech stack is completely eliminated but again 38 points are exchanged including a 10-10 German Mech xx. However this attack does eliminate two Soviet Mech XXX including a guard mech unit)

3 fortified hexes which now project into Soviet lines are evacuated except for two 3-6 infantry cadres and in the case of the position in front of Kalinin a 5-6 infantry division. Acting as groins to take the power out of the Red Tide they are designed to minimise the enemy’s ability to launch multiple hex attacks against the main line at these points. They also prevent lateral movement along the line. They are provided with maximum DAS to force the Soviets to commit additional forces against them. It is hoped that collectively they will allow at least one turns respite from the blows raining down on the German positions.

AGC: The boundary is contracted north to give operational control of Qxbow to AGS.

Operation Oxbow strives to isolate Voronezh

Operation Oxbow strives to isolate Voronezh

AGS:  The Oxbow phase two swings into action with a second assault being launched North of Voronezh. This attack lead by Das Reich slices through the Soviet fortified line (which has been present, unmolested, since the Axis high watermark of 41) This supports the continuing thrust north which is hooking behind two fortified stacks on the river.

Unfortunately for the attackers the DH results allow remnants to fall back onto the rail line and deny the Axis any exploitation to isolate the city leaving the southern schwerpunkt vulnerable to counter attack. An attack a few miles south by Rumanian and Italian forces eliminates a defending Soviet stack and advances.

Air Combat: In the north most short range bombers and dive bombers are tasked tio provide DAS to the front line particularly over the front line. An air strike eliminated a Guards IL-4 p on the ground and 3 rail hits in the centre attempt to limit any Soviet rail reinforcements reaching the Oxbow engagement.

Two aircraft are exchanged in aerial combat.

Battle Report

Diced Combats = 7

Losses:
Forts = 1, Soviets = 92  Air = 3
German = 60, Eastern = 2 German Air = 1

1943 FEB I Soviet Turn

Finnish Front: In the far north forces close in on Murmansk

Total collapse of the Axis in the centre with a mopping up operation to clean up a few stragglers.

The drive to Helsinki continues chewing up a 5-6 German infantry division reduced to cadre in combat and overrun in exploitation. The 3 division Finnish Motte is surrounded but not engaged.

Leningrad Front: In the far west of the line a division is retreated. The drive directly south from Leningrad is stalled by the increasing density of the defenders. A single 3 hex assault clearing one corner fort.

At the eastern tip of the retreating axis two hexes are assaulted and losses inflicted. But with two DRs out of the 4 attacks these are limited.

Moscow Front: The new commander with the assistance of engineers and new artillery and guard’s rocket divisions succeeds in taking the penultimate hex of Moscow! The Axis have now lost 4 of the 5 hexes they held at the High Watermark of their advance.

Within the Tula fortified zone secret plans are afoot to assemble a vast strike army ready for a summer offensive. Already from scrappage new recruits and replacements a number of the latest Guards Tank corps are in place awaiting infantry support and the end of winter.

Soviet slowly give groud in the Ukraine to the Axis winter offensive

Soviet slowly give groud in the Ukraine to the Axis winter offensive

Voronezh Front.  The majority of non-armour recruits are directed south to bolster the defences but the Soviets continue to pull back placing most units in supply and tempting the axis to advance out of their supply limit. Immediately north of Voronezh rumours of Axis mechanized forces in the area lead the Soviets to bolster the fortified line there.

Stalingrad Front: No action.

Air War: A few airframes are exchanged and Aborted in a variety of  air operations across the front.

Battle Report

Overruns= 2
Auto Attacks = 1
Diced Combats = 6

Losses:
Forts = 4,
German = 71,
Fins = 5,
Eastern = 1
German Air = 2

Soviets = 28,
Air= 1