Scenting their enemies of blood and the change in the air due to the dampness of Autumn the Soviets decide to change their tactics this turn by reducing the attack odds to the minimum necessary to avoid any AH results. (3:1 un-modified) They do this in order to maximise the number of attacks and damage on the Axis forces ignoring any losses they may suffer from exchanges.
As a result, the Soviets manage to mount 35 attacks; another record. They also dissipate many of the armoured corps into smaller packets and team them with artillery divisions for greater punch anticipating mobility limitation in the coming winter. Exceptions to this process is a massing in the north to affect a breakthrough at Veliki Luki and two attacks on the Moscow front against lone Panzers.
Partisans: Partisan activity scores 4 rail breaks.
Finnish Front. Soviet forces continue to inch forward lugging their supplies with them. They reach the defensive ring South East of Kautokeino by the lake and launch two attacks eliminating an artillery and ski battalion. The loss is minor but the key in this theatre is frontage. The side with the most troops can infiltrate around and through the lines and so the loss of two hexes will force the Germans to withdraw or feed more troops into this sector.
Leningrad Front: The advance to Vitebsk is channelled between the remains of the fortified hub of Veliki Luki and the Dvina river. The direct route south is blocked by a well defended forest hex and a panzer division. The right flank over the Dvina is backed by full strength infantry divisions in swamp and forest terrain. The decision is therefore made to smash through the V.L fortifications. Most of the Soviet mech hits the forts with artillery division support. The Luftwaffe Harassment impedes but does not stop the re-orientation of the major assets.
The Forts are hit at 9:1 and 7:1 with a DE and DH result respectively. German interception and Flack almost eliminates sufficient GS to drop the odds but in the end the VVS manages to enable the attack to go ahead as planned. In exploitation a two hex advance is made eliminating the 2-3-6 cadre and 0-1-10 AA survivors with other participating units moving in to support. The move threatens to open up this entire flank and if developed has the potential to trap the units along the VL- Kalinin rail line. Two adjacent attacks cause more losses and remove the remaining forts.
Elsewhere on this front a second attack is made against the coastal fort of the Riga fort ring and again it is repulsed. (NE)
VL-Kalinin Line: three attacks in this sector fail to inflict losses simply retreating the defenders. Kalinin surrounded and isolated automatically falls to a concerted attack. Three more attacks in this sector eliminate forts one defending stack dies to an exchange another surrenders due to lack of retreat options.
Moscow Front: A massed attack concentrates on eliminating a 13-10pz XX which is cadred in the DH that results. An adjacent attack captures an airfield and sends an ME109G straight to Remnants when it fails to escape. Four more attacks round off the activity in this sector.
In the Orel/Kursk Sector a strike eliminates a 13-10 Pz again by a DH result but an attack against a 6-10 Mot XX with supporting units fails as it and its comrades retreat to safety.
The Isolated Soviet pocket is easily restored by overrun and reinforced from outside the pocket continues to drive south eliminating a fort and some scratch units supporting a Rumanian 5-6 inf XX which withdraws successfully (DH).
At Yelets a pair of Tank Corps commanders face the firing squad for ignoring orders to move forward and engage the enemy preferring instead to hide under a fighter squadron during the movement and combat phases.
Stalingrad Front: All along the front from the Donets to the curve of the Front west of Voronezh the Soviets continue to press the Axis hard with 11 attacks in total. Almost as a side issue Voronezh itself falls to an engineer aided 4:1 attack but the HX costs 4 engineers. The last Hungarian troops in Russia perish in the rubble or are marched into captivity.
Air Combat: Long range bombers operating mainly in the North take a pounding from interceptions. The bombers lose four of their number for only four rail hits. The Axis lose a one aircraft and one Abort. The VVS places a number of harassment hits around the Veluki Luki area to impede the Axis response to their breakout and on selected units on the Axis line in the South to hinder their retreat.
Attacks: Auto = 1, Diced = 34, Overuns = 2.
Soviet Army = 38. Foreign Contingents (Rum) = 1. Air =4
Axis: Forts = 17 (Including abandoned captures),
German Isolated = 11, Non Isolated = 80, Pos AA = 3, Air = 2 (including one on the ground)
Rumanian = 20, Hungarian (Isolated) = 12, Eastern = 5.
Axis Total = 128
Loss Ratio: Sept II 1943 Axis/Sov = 128/97 = 1.32