After two years and uncountable losses and destruction, neither side can claim victory in the East.
The Axis still flies the swastika from the towers of the Kremlin, and their spearheads repeatedly cut the last rail line to Leningrad in summer. In the South, the Germans repeated last years successes on a smaller scale, repeatedly encircling and crushing large Soviet Armies. 6th Army finally captured Rostov, the gate to the Caucaus, after a swirling, gruesome campaign across the vast plains between Dnjepr and Don that lasted the better part of the year.
However, the Axis failed to reach its declared campaign goal of cutting of Leningrad, Russias second largest city, starving it to death and thus securing its Finish ally. In frozen Karelia, the Finns are fighting a desperate rearguard action, their divisions reduced to regiments, regiments to bataillions, the army ruined along with the burning wrecks of 19th Panzer XX sent to stop the Soviets. During Autumn, the Soviets pried the Panzers from the last open rail line before the German infantry could close up, reestablished supply and secured the continued flow of reinforcements to the cradle of the revolution. Now, its winter, and the Soviets grow stronger: The new tank corps armed with the T-34 rolling of the assembly lines in the Urals that now are back into production managed for the first time to take on a German Panzerkorps head on and force a retreat. The Germans frantically equip their famed Panzer divisions with newer and better tanks, but there are never enough of them around.
The parade to commemorate the October Revolution is a grim specacle this year. In Kubychev, a small crowd is commanded to watch the parade, its listless cheers saluting regiments that will be committed to battle barely two days later. However, the German soldiers guarding Moscow’s Red Sqare can already hear the rumble of tanks and artillery as the First Guards Tank Army advances through the eastern and northern suburbs, poised on liberating the capital.
Despite the exhaustion, neither side seems yet approaching collapse.
Ken Newall takes a look at his truly epic Scorced Earth report after two years of campaining: 1942 Game Commentary
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