The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 9, Operation Edelweis

Author: Mattekillert
Published: 2017-02-01

Part of the campaign:

The Thousand Year Reich

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Game: Hearts of Iron III

The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 8, Case Blue

Images: 43, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01

Hello and welcome back to The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 9, Operation Edelweiss

The major success of Case Blue has opened up the possibility to rush the Caucasus from both the north and south. Much like the boot of Italy coming from the south can be hard going but from both directions we will cut off the supply lines of the Soviets.

Along with this an advance will be made along the Volga to secure defenses to protect our northern flank. Because really who would rush into mountains without securing his flank first?

Finally another spearhead will be thrown west to cut the defenders along the Don off from the Caucasus.
Fighting Guards Armies has a tendency of ending in high losses on both sides. Their fanatical spirit means they resist for longer. The Battle of Teykovo is a perfect example of this.

Pictured is one of the many destroyed KV-1 tanks left behind after any battle with Guards units. They tend to be heavily equipped and Stalin seems to show them much preference for equipment.
Meanwhile the advance in Persia is proving slow going and so the 6. Fallschirmjäger Division under Student is dropped on Tehran to force them to surrender.
In Chernoyar a large amount of KV-1’s are pushed out with heavy loss of life. We must destroy these units or they will destroy us over the autumn and winter!
The 3. Infanterie-Division, a motorized division equipped with a battalion of Stugs enters Stalingrad. They run into a very small garrison but it fights fanatically over various parts of the city. The Fortress Busters are still by Moscow and as such Heinrici is ordered to try to take the city on his own.

Shown is a Stug entering the burning city of Stalingrad set aflame by bombers and artillery.
The progress of Edelweiss.
Meanwhile all other divisions in the area are being used to cut Stalingrad off from any reinforcements. We will not allow the city to fill with defenders!
Many panzer units are sitting idle after Case Blue while the summer passes by. As such new pincers will be thrown out and more Soviet divisions destroyed!
North-East of Moscow a large concentration of Soviet Tank and Guards armies are located and the SS and panzer divisions will work together to destroy them.
(Author note, I did not use this decision as I feel it is cheating to use it if you don’t want for the historical dates. I chose a longer operating time at the loss of modifiers. A personal house rule of mine even though is was damn tempting.)
The small Soviet garrison is driven out of Stalingrad and the city is taken by Heinrici. The Stugs were of great importance in the taking of the city as they could get close to the Soviet strongholds and blast them with high explosive.
After a long battle Tehran finally falls. Even such a small force was able to hold out against our Fallschirmjäger for so long. Para dropping into cities leads to hard fighting.
And so Iran surrenders before the Wehrmacht. While a previous defense line had been set up the fact that infrastructure between India and Iran was so lacking (and rebel controlled) meant that the line would be set up against the Soviets instead.
The first of the many pockets and leading the charge is The Hermann Göring panzer division which was re equipped with various captured equipment and sent east.
The Italians finally send divisions to our aid. We can only hope they come equipped with anti-tank guns!
Like everyone else they are sent east. At this time about 80% of Wehrmacht personal is in the east and in addition all but two panzer divisions are there as well. It is a battle between giants and it consumes units like nothing else.
More units for the SS and Göring gets the stuff he wants.
In addition 5 new SS infantry divisions are raised on the demands of Himmler. They will be heavily equipped and it is hoped they will share the ferocity of units like the Leibstandarte or Wiking.
Help us Obi Event Kenobi you’re our only hope.
The jaws are closing around the Soviets North-East of Moscow.
Many of their divisions have been so badly mauled in the fighting that they are down to half strength.
And so yet more walk into captivity.
And more.
The famous Soviet Marine divisions try to hold back the 24. Panzer-Division yet like so often happens they lack AT guns.
After an absolutely excruciating battle Moscow falls. Not even the fortress busters were enough and sometimes various panzer divisions had to be thrown in to keep the pressure up while the fortress busters got a chance to breathe.
Meanwhile in the south Edelweiss is proving a smashing success. The small amount of soviet divisions are split and dealt with by overwhelming numbers and Stuka bombers.
Another large pocket closes.
More volunteers for the Wehrmacht.
More men soon to be walking west, they are lucky to be captured while it is still warm.
A hard hit to the morale of the Soviet people.
The Turkestan Legion is formed as resistance in the Caucasus draws to a close.
The last defenders of the Caucasus are being destroyed, they surrendered within 12 hours.
As the resistance in the Caucasus comes to an end the Advisor and Hitler both agree to greatly expand the Kreigsmarine. Landing Craft and Cruisers are orders en masse. Along with the new Jet aircraft for the Luftwaffe the Heer will yet again go back to getting the short stick of the deal.
Surprising news arrive from Japan as they have captured Honolulu with most of Hawaii now in their hands the Americans are sure to have problems with holding a stable supply line!
In Persia the poor lightly equipped Jäger divisions are assaulted by Guards divisions. This front will need a lot of reinforcing.
The overview of the front as mud is setting in leaves Germany holding everything west of the Volga. Most of the Industrial capabilities of the Soviet Union have now fallen to German hands and while we do know of large scale evacuation of industries we also control much of the population, industry and raw goods of the old USSR. It is hoped that this will lessen their fighting abilities and that we can destroy them entirely in 1943. However many times we say the Soviet Union is collapsing they always bounce back.

But 1942 has been a great victory for Germany. With all the raw goods our rare material problem has been solved and our troops are all well equipped for the upcoming winter.

Not everything is good however. As the front continues to stretch our units are getting more and more spread out and getting reinforcements is an ever growing problem. The front is currently around 3000km long.
The Soviets still have fight in them. Will they ever surrender?

Thank you for reading this chapter of my AAR. I'd like to excuse any lack in quality of this chapter as it was a bit rushed due to me getting the plague again and writing while sick is rather hard. Non the less I hope you enjoyed it.

Next chapter:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 10, Operation Zitadelle

Images: 49, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01

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