Weather: Snow spreads south from A to B in the south Rain and Mud persists.
Finland & The Army of Norway: Murmansk front no activity.
In the centre the Axis straighten the line but do not attack.
In the south the 9th pz cadre holds position to allow Finish forces further south pull back west as the threat of encirclement from infiltrating Soviet troops grows.
AGN: (Leningrad sector) OKW has determined that despite the rapid Soviet advance further south from the direction of Moscow the main effort should be directed against the Soviet drive south from Leningrad. The Soviet advance here is slow but poses a greater threat. The Russians have a higher force concentration and are driving down a supplied rail line. So it felt that if this is main threat. In addition the German positions here have some fortified sections and are in generally good terrain. Further still as the northern bulge contracts this allows for a greater concentration of force.
Nevertheless German infantry on the left flank abandon their forts and try to exfiltrate south to avoid encirclement from a Soviet mech corps which has now reached the Valdai lake system. Just 16miles East of that corps’ thrust south a 6-10 Mot xx/Artillery stack is forced to surrender its position without a fight and withdraws under threat from superior Russian forces,
The Soviet thrust north Moscow has already outran its supply chain and is thinned. With substantial Axis forces moving West it is believed that the genie can easily be put back into the bottle.
The troops in the East fall back in good order protecting the slower infantry and artillery units. Fortified units remaining against the Upper Volga river (now frozen) hold their positions and a brave infantry division moves out of its redoubt to ZOC and impede the neck of the Soviet spearhead.
Even so the situation along the Veliki Luki Railroad is delicate with only light forces guarding the line.
So relief forces is mustered from rebuilt, upgraded and newly arriving Panzers and the 6-4-8 tk xxx outside Kalinin is annihilated in a counter attack, The German forces cannot afford to concentrate and overrun the corps’ rear support hex of a Tk Brigade and rockets but are obliged instead to fan out and rebuild a defensive line screening Kalinin and the N/S rail line running through it.
AGN (Moscow Sector) Patrols, aerial recognisance and reports from the north convince the Moscow defenders that the Soviet forces have thinned and taking advantage of the redeployment of enemy armour the Germans counter attack the 34th xxx which is holding the line adjacent to the MW suburb of Moscow. With dive bomber support and rail gun concentrations transferred from the South they force the 34th back which exposes the right flank of the Soviet occupation forces in Moscow NW.
AGC: Other than minor in-theatre redeployments and engineering work little activity. Freed of any offensive obligations the Luftwaffe transfers squadrons north but maintains a long range bomber presence to continue to disrupt Soviet N/S communications. Long range fighters redeploy specifically to provide continuous cover N/S along the main communications rail line through Kharkov/Kursk/Bryansk/Smolensk to protect against Soviet deep bombing raids.
AGS: With the majority of offensive capable ground troops transferred north the Axis forces engage in local moves and redeployments to optimise their defence of the great bend of the Don River. They do maintain an occupation of the swamps immediately south of the river to the west of Rostov as a trip wire defence against any Soviet attempt to try to retake the city. Mobile forces meanwhile re-deploy to reserve leaguers at rail nodes.
Air War. Dive bombers assist the attack against 34thxxx and medium and long range units move to provide DAS at critical weak spots in the line. 2 Hits are made against the Leningrad/Kalinin line. The northern force receives a mass reinforcement as fighter and bomber squadrons transfer north from AGS and AGC.
Combats: Diced = 2
Soviets = 6
Air German= 2, Soviet = 1