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Iterum ante portas

It is December 1941, (again). An unusually mild winter sees the Germans firmly in possession of Moscows suburbs after a gruelling campaign, while in the North forward detachments have finally reached the Murmansk railway line. Further south the Germans have occupied vast swathes of the Ukraine, though Odessa and Sevastopol still hold out against the fascist invaders…

In other words: we managed to upload Ken Newall’s new game report up to JAN I 1942, and it shows how helpful images are to understand the overall strategic situation – at least for a visual animal like me. Enjoy the read!

After completing the newsletter archive in the Generalstab Library some months ago there was still one issue missing: ETO #57. I have the basic TOC, but no authors, and was unable to find a copy of the newsletter anywhere. Since Arthur Goodwin was the editor at the time, I’ve contacted him directly, and will update if I recieve a reply.

We’re still being plagued by some technical problems, but in the making are two more game reports from War in the Desert, and it might be time for some more link additions soon.

1941 DEC II Soviet Turn

Finland: Reinforcements are hindered south of Leningrad by Axis rail breaks. The 10th Mech wheels south and cadres another Finish Division but at the cost of cadreing a 7-4-8 Armoured division in the Exchange.

Leningrad Front; Trying to pressure the German line south of the city a scratch attack fails against a German infantry division in an unlucky 4:1 NE result.

Close to Kalinin reinforcements try to bolster the defence but are not strong enough to counter attack the German line.

SE AAR 1 1941 DEC II Soviet Turn

SE AAR 1 1941 DEC II Soviet Turn

Moscow Front: Winterized troops are exchanged by regulars in the front line to assemble a counter attack force.  A single attack is lunched against SS Viking succeeding is reducing this and an accompanying Mot divn to cadres but at the cost of two winterised divisions falling in the exchange.

Fearful that they can do no more than watch as city hexes fall the Capital and Factory are prepped for departure.

Voronezh Front: All quiet as the rear defence line continues to be strengthened and spare troops move forward to attack positions.

Kharkov front:  is redesigned Rostov Front following the fall of the city but all is inactive.

Crimea; Troops fall back to Sevastopol for a last stand.

Battle Report:

Attacks: Diced combats = 5

Losses: Soviet Non-Isolated = 21 (from exchanges)

German Non-isolated = 11.  Fins = 3 (Cadred 5-6)

1941 DEC II Axis Turn

Franz looked out across the square from his first floor vantage point in the former office building mid-way along the East side. The snow flurries parted momentarily and he could clearly see the few remaining icicles adorning the statue in the central fountain. He also could also see movement along the enemy position at the far side of the square.  Enemy troops had been moving in from side streets, from doors and cellars and were forming up for an attack.

“Get ready lads!” he called out “But hold your fire till they are at the fountain”. 

A great cry rose up from the enemy ranks as the line charged forward; “hold it, hold it” Franz muttered to himself, “Fire!” he shouted as the enemy reached the trip line. The medium MGs opened up and were accompanied by a hail of bullets from the rest of his platoon. The right end of the line dissolved as the heavy machine guns raked the line. Then the line faltered, some of the enemy took shelter behind, and in, the fountain; some hesitated and stopped and then the line started falling back.

“Cease fire!” Franz cried, no use spending ammo at a fleeing foe, but the noise of machine gun fire continued and the line of fleeing troops who dropped like wheat under a scythe.

“Cease fire!!” he yelled again. It was then he realised the noise was not the steady purr of their own machine guns but the harsh rat-a-tat of the enemy DP28.

A gust of wind opened a view to the far corner of the square where he saw the muzzle flash from a basement window and a group of security officers of the NKVD wearing their distinctive red epaulets.

Fifteen minutes later the second wave started their attack, this time they did not falter, the possibility of death at the hands of the hated fascist invaders preferable to the certain death from the guns at their rear.

He feared his platoon would be overrun as the wave closed when a loud “whoosh!” overhead and accompanying explosion at the centre of the square flattened the fountain and a large circle of the enemy around it.

The promised tank support had arrived and just in the nick of time.

He knew now that they would take the district but he also knew that the cost would be high.

Finland & Army Norway: In the centre the German division continues to press forward eliminating a ski battalion.

The Finns meanwhile eliminate another soviet stack close to the northern shores of Lake Lagoda and push the armoured battalion forward in the exploitation phase.

SE AAR 1 1941 DEC II Axis Turn

SE AAR 1 1941 DEC II Axis Turn

AGN: No attacks all defensive.

AGC. Very few attacks are launched but one is made against the North West corner of Moscow. The DR is converted to an EX due to fanatical resistance of the NKVD inspired defenders. The only consolation is that engineer support was not quite enough to gain a modifier and so no engineers are lost in the exchange. However 3 infantry divisions are cadred.

AGS: Kharkov falls to an engineer assisted assault and here a DE silences the defenders despite the NKVD presence.

A second attack takes out part of the soviet attack force pressing the centre of the Axis line.

Further south to the coast the Axis fall back a hex and adopts a “hedgehog” defence on alternate hexes taking advantage of the Soviets lack of exploitation ability and strengthening the points of resistance.

11th Army: Troops seal off the Kerch peninsular preventing reinforcements reaching the defenders and take Simferopol exploiting adjacent to the outer defences of Sevastopol.

Air War: DAS is placed along the out of supply defenders in the Valdai.

Moscow has been a no fly zone for the Luftwaffe due to the masses of soviet MIgs in the city but the capture of a second hex of the city and construction of airfields to the north allows the Germans to transfer hundreds of fighters to prove support and interdict soviet attempts to place DAS on the city defenders in the coming months.

In the south a small raid against the black Sea fleet again fails to inflict any hits on the ships.

Battle Report:

Attacks: Auto Eliminations = 1, Diced combats = 6

Losses: Soviet Isolated = 21 (including from supply checks),  Non-Isolated = 49

German Non-isolated = 28.

1941 DEC I Soviet Turn

I noticed an error in the Oct II, Nov I and Nov II Soviet Turn reports because I inadvertently headed the Soviet front as Voroshilovgrad rather than Voronezh.

Note: To avoid congestion the Moscow Soviet units have been removed to the off map display and locations marked with a red star. Supply Terminals show the furthest Rail/Road limit of the Axis supply line.

December I ’41 Soviet Turn. 

The Soviets prepare to turn their localised attacks into a coherent Winter Counter Offensive. Guards and winterized troops in Moscow are replaced with regular troops where possible and reserves start to form behind the front line south of the city.

In the meantime the series of local attacks increase in size and ambition and the Axis arrogance and overconfidence is repaid by the Soviets giving the invaders a bloody nose as their forces launch a series of devastating counter attacks on the main line penetrations. Over 70 points of losses are inflicted including four Panzers reduced to cadres and four infantry divisions completely eliminated.

Finland: In the North reinforcements arrive to stabilise the line.  Further south the main Finnish/German attack force is counterattacked by the 10th mech joined by infantry forces and a HX eliminates the Axis stack.

SE AAR 1 1941 DEC I Soviet Turn

DEC I Soviet Turn: The 10th mech eliminates the Axis thrust.

Leningrad Front: On the Leningrad front The Valdai penetration is nipped off and two infantry divisions eliminated in an exchange.

Moscow Front: The furthest German penetration is again attacked and this time with more success than a fortnight earlier with a HX reducing a two panzer stack to cadres and eliminating the supporting AA units.

Between Moscow and Tula the retreating panzers still just out of supply are reduced to cadres by pursuing Guards, Winterized and regular troops.

SE AAR 1 1941 DEC I Soviet Turn:

DEC I Soviet Turn: Devastating Soviet attack eliminates southern hook around Moscow.

Voronezh Front: The Attack Army continues to move west; one attack falls back in disarray but a second reduces two German infantry divisions to cadres. The exchange however removes a large part of the attack line at the southern tip of the army.

Kharkov Front: Very little action is evident as a trickle of in-theatre reinforcements enhance the defence line. The Soviets consider the feasibility of launching a surge to try to relieve Kharkov but the Axis line is now in full supply and there are no spare forces in the south for such an operation.  Two unsupplied divisions in the isolated city dice and one succumbs but is replaced from accumulated IRPs.

SE AAR 1 1941 DEC II Soviet Turn

DEC II Soviet Turn: General view of the quiet southern front.

Crimea: In the Crimea forces fall back to Sevastopol and the Black Sea fleet splits to cover Odessa and the Fortress.

Air War. Short range assault bombers provide defensive support while long range bombers launch a series of deep raids onto Axis air bases. Limited results but two point city fields are neutralized and one fighter from each side eliminated in the execution of the operation.

In the south the airlift is continued to provide some supply to the defenders of Kharkov but capacity is limited and two divisions remain unsupplied.

Battle Report:

Attacks: Diced combats = 5

Losses: Soviet Isolated = 11 (from supply checks) Non-Isolated = 45 (from exchanges)

German Non-isolated = 66.5.   Finnish = 5.

1941 DEC I Axis Turn

Commissar Popov shouts out to his men arrayed in a crescent at the edge of the dense forest; a slight mound in front blocked a full view of the horizon which was anyway obscured by driving snow. “Here they come comrades!”

Minutes earlier scouts running full speed and reaching his dug out breathless reported an imminent attack  and their report was joined by the growl and clank of enemy armoured units negotiating the slope just out of view.

Popov’s unit had only arrived yesterday and had barely time to construct anything other some rudimentary dug outs. Despite increasing enemy activity in front of the corps position they had been instructed to march east and take up the position they now held.

The commissar’s war had so far had been uneventful; inserted into a relatively quiet heavily wooded sector on the Leningrad Moscow road most enemy activity had been directed north and south of the corps’ frontage.   He knew his NKVD division was well equipped and ready to die for the motherland – he just had not expected it would be so soon.

The mean looking angular machines of the Fascist invaders crested the hill, the troops huddled behind looked cold and malnourished but just as mean as their machines and just as determined.

The 75mm shell from the lead tank hit his dug out full on catapulting earth, branches, logs and men skyward.

For Popov the war was over.

Finland & Army Norway: In the centre the German division continues to press forward and aided by air support out of Norway eliminates another winterised regiment.

The Finns meanwhile eliminate a motorized division in their march east.

SE AAR 1 1941 DEC I Axis Turn

1941 DEC I Axis Turn: The Finns struggle East

AGN: The Germans manage to assemble a scratch relief force and with the help of the isolated troops of the 18th pz and 18th Mot divn break through the soviets via the heavily forested section of the line allowing the mech elemnts to re-join the main force.

In front of Kalinin an out of supply fort is eliminated and a counter-counter attack secures another hex north of the city.

AGC: The German forces contemplate an attack on a second Moscow district but with winter setting in they need engineers and siege guns to do so.  Rail conversion now reaches Moscow and the siege train is positioned for an assault next turn. In lieu of an assault they retract one hex back east of the metropolis to concentrate defences for an expected Soviet counter attack.

Just south of Moscow the Axis are content to eliminate the two isolated forts.

AGS: All quiet on this front. The Kharkov besiegers now in full supply for the first time are enraged that the promised siege gun support has been diverted to AGC but muster engineers and artillery for their own assault.

The line south from Kharkov to the sea assumes a defensive posture

11th Army: The desultory unsupplied campaign continues in the Crimes eliminating a single division and trapping two more. Infantry arriving from other sectors should be in position to assist next turn but no assets are in place for a protracted siege of Sevastopol should the Soviets decide to defend the citadel.

SE AAR 1 1941 DEC I Axis Turn

1941 DEC I Axis Turn. Buildup of forces in the Crimea

Air War; The Luftwaffe provides defensive support to the small portion of the line still unsupplied east of Kursk/Orel but direct their main effort to  fragmenting the soviet rail net scoring 8 hits from 15 sorties. A token dive bomber attack on the black sea fleet is aborted by intense and accurate AA fire.

Battle Report:

Attacks: Auto elim = 3.  Diced =  5

Losses;

Soviet Isolated = 16.  Un-isolated = 32;

Axis un-isolated = 3

1941 NOV II Soviet Turn

November II ’41 Soviet Turn. 

The growing strength of the Soviet army is demonstrated this turn as they inflict the largest defensive losses of the war on the Axis and nip two penetrations off trapping a panzer division and motorised division the “wrong” side of the front line.

The Soviets however have no strategic reserves and Winterized troops are stuck defending Moscow with Guards and Navy troops scattered up and down the line where the defensive situation has demanded their deployment.

 

SE AAR 11941 NOV II Soviet Turn

SE AAR 11941 NOV II Soviet Turn

Finland:  Reinforcements are sent north to stop the slow but inexorable move east by the Germans and their Finnish partners. In the south a reinforced 10th Mech strikes at a Finish 2 division stack but only retreats them and the supporting artillery.

Leningrad; To the south of the city the German penetration out of the Valdai is attacked at the neck by two armoured divisions and a massive air flotilla out of Leningrad. The defending German mech division is cadred and supporting rkt and artillery units eliminated. The armour advances to snap the door shut and reseals the front line leaving a pz division, mot divn, AT and AA unit trapped in the rough terrain to the East of the Soviet line. With more Soviet reinforcements approaching they face an uncertain future.

In a second major offensive move arriving reinforcements allow an attack on the small bulge north of Kalinin and cadre two infantry divisions, straightening the line.

SE AAR 1 1941 NOV II Soviet Turn

SE AAR 1 1941 NOV II Soviet Turn

Moscow: Troops feed into the city to reinforce the defenders and units to the east consolidate to pin the Germans tight against the city. To the south the Soviets press hard against the Panzers but cannot take them on in direct assault and the fortified pockets remain as a breakwater for the new line forming behind.  Tula is determined not to go out without a fight and is reinforced.

Voroshilovgrad:  The Soviet attack force continues west hitting three German stacks and cadreing another infantry division. The Army is now detached from the MLR on both flanks but continues to press forward while the line is reinforced behind.

Further south the fortification of the line continues and secondary reserve stacks start to form ready for any future Axis moves west.

Crimea: Odessa MD spends all accumulated IRPs forming 3 divisions and ships excess troops to Sevastopol while newly arriving troops from Kerch block the peninsular west of the city.

Battle Report:

Attacks: Diced combats = 5

Losses: Soviet 6 (Cadred 6-4-8 tk) Axis = 3

Axis; Non-isolated = 27 including 3 x cadred Inf divns and 1x cadred mot divn

1941 NOV II Axis Turn

Alarmed by the Soviet counter attack at Moscow the panzers plan to retreat but the rains cease and are followed by a hard frost. Supplies, mobility and armour fully restored the Germans plan their last hurrah! before the predicted snow fall.

SE AAR Nov II Axis Turn

Nov II Axis Turn: The Finns push slowly East along the north shore of lake Lagoda

Finland & Army NorwayThe winterized troops of Army Norway push over the frozen river in front of Murmansk with Soviet defenders pulling back intact. In the centre the German infantry eliminate a second regiment and push East while in the far south the Finns fail to eliminate the Soviets but gain more ground in their attack along the north shore of lake Ladoga.

AGN: The Germans reduce a Soviet guard division and burst out East from the north of The Valdai overrunning the shattered remnants in the exploitation phase.

In the centre of their operational zone the advance East is halted by fresh Soviet troops but the shoulder of the penetration is widened, reaching the NW outskirts of Kalinin which is temporarily placed out of supply.

SE AAR Nov II Axis Turn

Nov II Axis Turn:Axis smash the line between Moscow and Tula.

AGC; The panzers in the northern hook around Moscow turn inwards and push the defenders out of the NE  part of the city. With horror Moscow realises that the artillery syphoned off for their own hapless attack has weakened the defenders who could not withstand the massed ranks of Panzers and newly arrived Neblewerfers.

The Fuhrer’s allowance of an active retreat to the south of the city proves its worth further cementing his grip on his generals as the “retreating” panzers smash into the rear of the Soviet fortified line between Moscow and Tula.  Aided by infantry arriving from the West and outflanking the river defences the line is shattered along its entire length between Serpukhov and Tula.  Only two surrounded and isolated fortified hexes remain of the once defiant Soviet defensive line.

Immediately to the south of Tula retreating panzers and SS motorized divisions halt their retreat to hold the rail line denying the out of production Tula factory an easy escape south.

SE AAR 1 NOV II Axis Turn

NOV II Axis Turn: The Germans capture NE hex of Moscow

AGS: Other than a couple of spoiling attacks on over extended soviet attackers the front is quiet with the Axis moving west to avoid direct contact with the soviet line as the rains continue to prove a barrier to getting supplies to the front line troops. Only along the river to the e ast of Kharkov is the line held toe to toe with the Soviets to give separation for the besiegers.  Artillery and engineering assets are moved into place to await the arrival of full supplies and rail artillery to enable an assault.

11th Army: A mixed 6 division group of Italian, Rumanian and specialist German troops move south from the storming of Zaporizhzhia to join the 11th Army in the Crimea, while the armoured elements already present concentrate on eliminating the border force at the gates of the peninsular.

SE AAR 1941 Nov II Axis Turn

SE AAR 1941 Nov II Axis Turn

The Luftwaffe decide on a massive air attack on the Black Sea fleet calling in all available air squadrons.  Of the 26 bombers employed 3 are driven off by AA fire and 4 hits are inflicted sinking the CLs K.Krim and Ch.Ukraine. Goering examining the situation reports decides this is an inefficient use of assets and orders no more massed attacks on this scale. Future attacks are to be directed against the port installations at Odessa which is still a defiant redoubt far to the west of the front line.

Battle Report:

Attacks: Auto eliminations =4.   Diced combats = 8

Losses: Soviet Isolated = 18, Un-isolated = 45.

Axis = 3

1941 NOV I Soviet Turn

The Kharkov factory arrives in the East and is immediately put into production.

Finland: 10th Mech pulls back as the line is straightened and stretched to accommodate the recent finish success.

Leningrad : Forces south of Lake Ilmen which are now U3 pull back north to straighten the line and shorten their supply line. Elsewhere the defenders attempt to limit and contain the two small Axis bulges in the line by reinforcements but still are not strong enough to counter attack.

Moscow:. German defenders receive word from their meteorologists of a fair chance of a cessation of rain and a cold snap and so orders are issued to the quartermasters to release Truck held supplies so that the entire northern prong is in supply.

In the belief that the Germans are running low on supplies and emboldened by the retreat of the units to the south of the city and the reduction in length of the northern Axis hook the soviets mount an attack from both inside and outside the city which hits the 29 point German stack at the extreme tip of the German northern hook around the city at 2:1. Germanic luck holds again and the “1” rolled results in a Soviet retreat.

To the south of the city Soviets pursue the retreating Axis forces but do not attack.

SE AAR 01 - 1941 NOV I Soviet Turn

SE AAR 01 – 1941 NOV I Soviet Turn

Voroshilovgrad:  The westward surge continues and the wide front Pursuit Army attacks along the front hitting vulnerable out of supply units. The attacks meet with general success with one AR but reduce a mech division and eliminate 14 other factors of German and Slovakian units.

The Soviet attack force has orders to hit any target of opportunity to thin and attrite the enemy forces. With the line between Moscow and Tula cut the attacks also aim to clear the rail line south from Tula to allow the evacuation of the factory.  A small pincer south of Tula isolates a fleeing SS Division, 2 Panzer Divns and miscellaneous support troops with these attacks but the Soviets lack the exploitation capability to surround them completely.

SE AAR 01 - 1941 NOV I Soviet Turn SE AAR 01 – 1941 NOV I Soviet Turn

Crimea: A 4-3-8 Cav XX in the pocket trapped against the Shivash perishes the rest of the stack is left to its fate as Soviet units fall back on Kerch and Sevastopol.

Battle Report:

Attacks:  5 Diced.

Losses: Soviet: None.  Axis 21 (Reduced 6-10 Mot divn plus support troops and the 2-1-10 Slovak armor)

1941 NOV I Axis Turn

No! not one step back, those are my orders!  The commanders of any unit which retreats will face the firing squad!”

“But Mein Fuhrer!” protests the assembled top brass at the Wolf’s Lair situation table, “We have lost contact with an entire corps who are very low on supplies and we fear are surrounded. The Bolsheviks have already overrun the 17th. Now the 1st, 11th, 17th, 5th and 29 Mot div are cut off.”

Cowards! they have no backbone!  They should stand and die for the Fatherland!

But mein Fuhrer! they may short of supplies but I assure you they are not on short of National Socialist Fervour!

Guderian leans forward over the situation map, “If I may, Mein Fuhrer, we can break the Soviet line here at Podolsk and demonstrate once again our superiority of arms and will.   I have the 24th Panzer division with artillery support and infantry divisions”, Guderian’s hand hovers over the map then jabs at a spot 20 miles North West of Podolsk,  “here,  awaiting your orders.”

“The corps to the East will strike from behind, eliminating anything in their path and join with the 24th from the West. We cannot fail to smash the line and link up with the missing corps and secure our position.

Hitler studies the map and ponders for a second. “Permission granted – but do not ask again.”

Finland: The Finish front after months of relative inactivity bursts into life. The arrival of a German infantry division marching overland from the Helsinki front, a fresh replacement division and a reserve infantry division released now that the Soviet 20th Mech  is made impotent by the mud, allows the Fins to launch a massed attack against the south anchor of the soviet line on the north shore of lake Ladoga eliminating the stack.

Further north an Army of Norway attack wastes precious resources pushing back a lone bdr regiment while in the centre a soviet winterised regiment is eliminated.

AGN: AGN is transferred responsibility of all action south from the Baltic coast to the lakes north of Moscow. This will allow co-ordinated action to eliminate resistance between Dno and Kalinin.

The mixed armour and infantry assault through the Valdai cannot progress further East but continues to enlarge the foothold on the Moscow Leningrad rail line.

Similarly the penetration of the Soviet line just north of Kalinin is also stalled in it’s Eastern advance and is content to widen the breach.

The southern tip of the line is nibbled further to widen the bulge between Moscow and the lakes to the north.

In all 4 hexes and 3 forts are gained/eliminated as the out of supply Soviets around Kalinin weaken.

SE AAR No1 - 1941 Nov I Axis Exploitation

SE AAR No1 – 1941 Nov I Axis Exploitation at AG North

AGC: The panzers north of the Soviet link up to Moscow pull back northwest 2 hexes to consolidate. They hold there as supplies are moving west and they are only a month away from full supply with trucks available to fill the gap.

To the south the cut off corps realise that they cannot hope to survive as the Soviet troops mass and close. They thus move west eliminating a lone Soviet mountain division caught in their path. In a surprise move the 24thPanzer with fresh infantry and artillery support eliminates a soviet fort in the MLR just north of Podolsk and pushes through to link with the beleaguered panzers. Still unsupplied the nemesis of elimination from isolation is averted.

Further south around Tula other stragglers from the bold but over extended German advance manage to reach the main lines and all formations are accounted for.

SE AAR No1 - 1941 Nov I Axis Exploitation

SE AAR No1 – 1941 Nov I Axis Explitation at AG Center

AGS: Minor actions up and down the line keep pressure on the soviet replacement system by eliminating a couple of stacks where targets of opportunity present themselves. One such is the elimination of the Orel garrison and the city’s capture.

The Soviets outside Kharkov are eliminated and a tight ring around the city established. Still unsupplied the Axis await rail conversion, supplies and rail guns before considering an assault.

Axis forces eliminate the garrison at Zaporizhzhia and capture the city, leaving Kharkov as the only island of resistance west of the Soviet main line.

11th Army; The Axis manage to breach the line at the neck of the Crimea but exploitation is minimal simply encircling a stack in the front line and pinning them against the sivash.

With reinforcing cavalry divisions crossing the Kerch straights the Axis realise that the resources allocated to the 11th army are not sufficient and make preparations to reinforce this sector.

SE AAR No1 - 1941 Nov I Axis Explitation

SE AAR No1 – 1941 Nov I Axis Explitation at 11th Army

Battle Report:

Attacks: Auto eliminations = 6.   Diced combats = 7
Losses: Soviet Isolated = 36, Un-isolated = 42.
Germans = 7 (Cadred Infantry division and rocket regiment in an exchange)

1941 OCT II Soviet Turn

The conference room in the Kremlin is thick with cigarette smoke, sweat and desperation.

The top officers are huddled near the large wooden doors at the end of the room.  A mid ranking staff officer has his ear to the door.

Kliment Voroshilov, the defence minister enters and marches forward. Any of you girls gathered up enough courage to knock yet? He demands.

“Not me” answers Mikoloyan the trade minister. “The Boss is still in his chambers no one has seen him for three days now.”

“Berea, can’t you go in, you have his ear”.  “No comrade, I may have his ear but he would just as soon have my head!.”

“Zhukov what news from your new command in the North?”;  “My orders are to hold so hold I have. Not a step back but the fascists are pushing to the north and south of Kalinin. “

“How can I mount an attack with no reserves and everyone in the front line?”

“Well I have moved some forces forward to engage the fascists south of Tula”, Timoshenko adds “but like you we have few reserves and dare not thin the main line too much that would be suicide both militarily and dare I say personally.”

Suddenly the conversation is halted by the rattling of locks and the large wooden doors at the end of the conference room swing open. Comrade Stalin advances, tired and dishevelled but with determination in his eyes.

“Gentlemen my most reliable officer general Rasputitsa has arrived and achieved what you did not. He has halted the enemy advance East of Moscow.”

“Is the line elsewhere held?”

“Yes comrade” the assembled officers cry in unison.

“Then the time to strike has come. Fresh troops have been arriving which I have held for this attack They are now yours, use them wisely.

Don’t disappoint me, the gulags are a lot emptier than in ’36 so there is plenty of space for failures.”

Finland: Fresh troops bolster the line at Murmansk.

The Soviet 11th Mech corps pulls back to the line by the lakes which is now stabilised.

Leningrad: To the south fresh troops are fed into the shells around the two small bulges across the Leningrad /Kalinin rail line but cannot yet mount an effective counter attack.

Moscow: A succession of localised counter attacks are mounted against the German defence ring around the city.

Here and further south a succession of 1s and 2s on the dice rolls give very disappointing results with a total of 1x AR, 3xNE, 1xDR and only two DEs and a HX.. The one big success is against 17th Panzer, just south of the capital, which is reduced to a cadre and the city is again relieved from isolation.

SE AAR 01 - 1941 Oct II 41 Soviet Turn

SE AAR 01 – 1941 Oct II 41 Soviet Turn

Voroshilovgrad:  The forces which surged west attack an SS Motorised division but simply push this unit back and fail to achieve any meaningful results.

Around Tula however some support troops are eliminated and further penetrations break the German line into two sections.

Kharkov; is surrounded but freshly raised troops take advantage of a small gap in the ring around the city to form a defence hex adjacent to the city. (no doubt short-lived)

South/Crimea: The line holds and continues to fortify awaiting the arrival of the Axis forces.

Losses: Soviet: = 6

Axis Non Isolated =10; Isolated =  6.

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