Unternehmen Barbarossa! | A Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa AAR | Part 5

Published: 2017-03-15, edited: 1970-01-01

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Unternehmen Barbarossa! | A Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa AAR

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Unternehmen Barbarossa! | A Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa AAR | Part 4

Images: 26, author: throwthetrash16, published: 2017-03-15, edited: 1970-01-01

Welcome back to the 5th part of Unternehmen Barbarossa! Today we begin by looking towards von-Leeb's Northern Army Groups.
As expected, the city of Riga fell very quickly. With only a meager garrison of blocking troops, the 4th SS Polizei division was able to overrun their hastily erected barricades. Due to the nature of the battle, the city was largely spared in the fighting. Instead of massive bomber waves, only precision Stuka strikes were needed to knock out areas of particularly fierce resistance.
We now control the major roads into the northern Baltic. The seasonal muds have forced the Panzers into defensive artillery roles for now but the infantry is still able to exploit these large gaps in the Soviet lines.
The Karelian offensive has been successful thus far. After the initial push, two divisions have been rerouted to the Leningrad front after reports of captured Soviet documents indicate one will occur soon.
Tenth diary entry.
As the Soviets rush to stabilize the central front, an entire Soviet battle-group is destroyed in a pitched battle outside of Minsk! All that remains now is the city itself.
A wonderful initiative from the Kriegsmarine has been requested! Opening up the Baltic ports to supply will ensure (as long as rail connections to Kaunas are available) we can get more troops, more food, more guns and more tanks to the front than ever before.
The First Battle of Minsk has been a failure for the Heer. The dug in Russians were able to repel our troops even though they were completely surrounded!
In order to facilitate positive change in the area, an artillery group has been relocated to the 162nd. Siege artillery is rare at the moment, and we cannot use it up when Kiev will most definitely be heavily defended.
A corps sized formation is destroyed in Bessarabia...
...which has bolstered our otherwise dwindling prospects. The refitted Eastern Army (brown chits) has just arrived in the Southern Bug, probably because they know it's our weakest front. The 17th Army has been given orders to rush forward no matter the cost to ensure they are not successful.
West of Kiev, Rundstedt has ordered the 6th to wheel at an angle to defend against Soviet troops in the marshes. The 1st PanzerGruppe is finishing up the pocketing of the Soviet forces and will then meet the 6th Red Army before pocketing the 5th.
It is simply amazing how, even after over 750K casualties, the Soviets have managed to increase their strength by 600K troops.
The German intelligence given to the Finns has been essential in stopping the Soviet offensive. Ambush positions were put in place to chop up the advance.
At the same time, Mannerheim (pictured resting after commanding the Karelian army) has crossed the 1939 border with the USSR. After the German capture of Riga and promises of a Leningrad offensive, he has assaulted the poorly supplied Soviets in Karelia.
Finally, the seasonal muds have retreated. The Panzers will soon be back into action.
Eleventh diary entry.
As the success of the Luftwaffe has resulted in the destruction of the Soviet air arm, it is now time to decide how to conduct the bombing campaigns against the troops. While the effects of bad weather flight are indeed terrible, Hugo Sperrle brings up an interesting point, one that we will follow.
Von-Brauchitsch's birthday has given us an opportunity to get back on his good side, one we will not skip up.
Using the last reserves of political power this turn, we force von-Bock to agree to support our push for winter clothing.
A further three divisions are pocketed. Despite Soviet strength and the slowed offensive, some sectors are still able to make gains. Once Minsk has been taken, this course will be hopefully altered.
Mannerheim's offensive has resulted in the pocketing of a division and the destruction of another.
The Finns have fought hard so far and now enter the outskirts of multiple Russian towns in the peninsula.
Taking a look at the PanzerGruppes, we can see that they have taken massive casualties thus far. Guderian has been hardest in the month and a half of fighting, having to write off approximately 110 tanks from the roster. Transports are slightly better in all PanzerGruppes, but are still getting destroyed.
Twelfth diary entry.
Mannerheim has retreated back to the original border in an attempt to shore up supplies and deal with the threat of a runaway Soviet division.
The Soviets have been slowly pushed north of Riga, but an attempted breakout from Windau has forced the troops meant for the attack to divert yet again.
Hitler himself has increasingly become anxious of the Heer's success in the East. Nostalgic for the previous victories and sweeping offensives, the Fuhrer is demanding better results. Landing in Berlin after a retreat in the Berghof residence, he has demanded Brauchitsch sort out a list of required materiel.
The Me323's first prototype, the Me322, is based off of the Me321 giant glider. The so-called "Gigant" has been used a few times to reach the front lines for Army Group South, dropping off tank replacements and then returning with wounded. Though the effect is currently minimal, it is the basis of a future technology that will come in handy quite often.
The 4th Romanian is back in action and the siege of Odessa continues. The Southern Bug has again been crossed, this time in proper force, with German Panzer divisions following.
Showing how far we've pushed after a month and a half, the Army Headquarters hopes to regain Hitler's respect. However, resistance is becoming stronger and stronger by the day. If new troops aren't acquired ASAP, the offensive will slow more and more.
Regardless, Hitler has continued his strongman representation in public, highly censoring the reports of the struggle in the East. Preferring his pet project in the AfrikaKorps, he has made sure to shower Rommel with praise and materiel.
And so we must finish this installment of the series, worried in the disbelief at the Soviet's ability to withstand such offensives and losses. The continued construction of new divisions and armies has to be stopped, else the war may soon be over. Join us next in part 6 of Unternehmen Barbarossa!

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Images: 6, author: Yoper101, published: 2017-02-06