Unternehmen Barbarossa! | A Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa AAR | Part 2

Published: 2017-02-11, edited: 2017-02-14

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Unternehmen Barbarossa! | A Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa AAR

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Game: Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa

Unternehmen Barbarossa! | A Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa AAR | Part 1

Images: 21, author: throwthetrash16, published: 2017-02-10

Hello, and welcome back to Unternehmen Barbarossa! We last left off the series at the opening of the invasion of the USSR. The Romanians have entered Bessarabia and the offensive in western Ukraine is threatening to destroy multiple Soviet Headquarters as pockets are beginning to form.
After the chaos that has befallen the Soviets in the south, Guderian's Panzers have been ordered forward. To facilitate his advance, Hitler has ordered the crack SS division, "Das Reich", to accompany him.
They make short work of the Russians.
Kluge and Guderian have begun their advance very quickly. Guderian's underlings have taken blitzkrieg a little too far and have begun to venture outside of AGC's zone of operations (the dashed lines). However, a large pocket is forming around Bialystok and Brest-Litowsk. Soon both will be ours and the advance on Minsk can begin in earnest.
The Ruskies are pushed off of the Neiman river. A bridgehead into Lithuania was secured after two days of fighting and now von-Leeb's troops can begin operations to secure railway centers in the north. Kaunas will have to be stormed in the coming weeks to prevent a counter attack or an escape attempt by the Russians.
As the German and Romanian offensives continue, Marshal Mannerheim has given the South East Army permission to pursue border operations in congruence with German promises of support. He does not yet know it, but we have no plans to advance as far as Leningrad quite yet. Regardless, to assault the city would be a purely German operation: the Finns will not advance further than the 1939 border (marked by B's) for fear of angering the Reds more than they have.
One lightly equipped German division (the 163rd) is currently located here. They might be sorely needed as the Finns have met a relatively strong defensive force in Karelia. Armed with the mighty 122mm howitzer, an offensive is currently impossible without severe losses and a retreat to the rail lines will occur as soon as we are able to do so. Near Leningrad, however, the resistance is much more limited in firepower. The Soviets here have the advantage in men only.
Understanding supply is essential for the Russian campaign. Here, we can see that a unit in the plains north of Warsaw needs to be supplied by the Army Supreme Command, first by rail and then by trucks. Rail will become an increasing problem later on, but trucks are essential to victory in the relative backwater infrastructure of the USSR.
Second diary entry.
Damned Panzers drink Germany dry and their commanders are wily beasts to boot.
PanzerGruppe summary for 26 June. Army Group South has been allocated a further 6000 barrels of oil, 3000 less than Center's two PanzerGruppes and 3000 more than North's single Gruppe. These barrels will come in to play very soon.
The Soviets have conducted a total retreat along the Dniester...
...the Pripyat Marshes...
...and the Baltic front...
...but the 10th Army under Golubev was not quick enough to escape!
The largest battle of the campaign so far has been a complete success! Though the infantry was tired out after days of hard fighting and forced to halt, the SS "Das Reich" was able to rout the enemy forces in the pocket. The 10th Army no longer has any command structure and is split off from each other, surrounded and far from home.
In recognition of their valiant service, the SS "Das Reich" has been ordered a new cuff by Hitler himself. Hugo Boss was commissioned for the addition of a golden eagle on the end of the cuffs. These will go into production immediately to replace the current ones in service.
Captured stocks of Russian oil require Benzene to be usable by Panzers, otherwise the engines become damaged. Hitler's yes-man Keitel is still convinced that this war will end before the close of Summer, despite the fact that we have lost 3% of our Panzers in one week of fighting alone, never mind the trucks too! Despite our protests, Goering was able to block our proposal to divert refining towards this Russian oil.
Further troubles with supply! Wagner and Gercke must cooperate with each other. I will speak to Gercke at once and hope he can fix this problem: Rundstedt needs all the supplies he can get!
Korber is an efficient worker, but a Nazi through and through nonetheless. Welscher has told me in confidence that this "fraternization" was merely them helping to build a school for the orphaned and fatherless. Women are the only ones available to teach now, and it would entirely be best to ensure that these children have something to do besides harrying our supply lines and blowing up bridges. Korber was told it was dealt with and Welscher was told to keep this quiet. Everybody wins, for now.
Rundstedt has broken through more Soviet lines. The dogs flee before us, long before the lines have even connected! Ha!
The cowardly retreat by the Soviets in the western Ukraine was not enough to save them. Over twelve divisions have been surrounded, mostly armored and motorized. The capture of trucks will not immediately helps us: Wagner will have to dole them out, preferring the sectors we believe need them last.
Four divisions have been trapped inside of Brest-Litowsk. They are half strength, which means we do not need to divert precious rail guns towards the city.
The bridgehead to Vilnius is captured. Bialystok is surrounded...
...and the back roads to Kaunas are being taken. The Soviets in the city will be facing attacks from the north and south simultaneously. Capturing the city and hopefully removing over eight divisions from their army will deal a massive blow to Stalin.
The Finns have captured an entire division without German help. The lines in Karelia are stable- the Russian troops might have big guns, but perhaps their supplying in the sub-Arctic is low? This may embolden plans for a future offensive, but for now they can celebrate this victory. Hakkaa päälle!
Third diary entry. The Russians are on the run and the Baltic is in our grasp.
The penetration in Lithuania is expanding, thousands of troops rush through the gap. Kaunas is surrounded and Riga is but a short road-stop ahead. The Panzers are doing extremely well with their very limited oil allocation: if we can succeed here in a few weeks we could save tonnes of fuel elsewhere.
Six (count 'em, six!) divisions have been absolutely destroyed in Bialystok without even minimal losses on our part. Guderian and all his officers will receive Iron Crosses for this, and extra rations for lunch and dinner have been ordered. Plundered wine, usually contraband, has actually been rationed out too.
After this victory, Guderian's troops have been given the chance to rest and recuperate their vehicles. The upcoming assault on Minsk may require them to be at full organization. Though out of play for now, the divisions are currently safe from combat and the Russians in the central sector are overwhelmed.
Even greater success! Bialystok and a full Soviet army have been destroyed in the fighting. Double rations have been ordered for the 9th Army and Walter Model has been given a battle field commission to General der Panzertruppe. This was not the largest battle (the Soviet divisions were way under strength) but it has been the most effective, capturing or killing thousands of trained officers and removing hundreds of thousands of guns, tanks and trucks.
Lwow is surrounded and the western Ukraine will soon be ours.
Goebbels, the club-footed fool, has demanded film crews to come and mess up our offices. We've little patience for them, but we are already on thin ice with the Nazi party. We agree, for now, for the good of this campaign (also notice our very poor relationship with the truck organizer, Wagner).
A good chance to appease Wagner appears at the cost of a lot of political influence...
...as the forward base of AGC is moved to Grodno...
...much closer to the front lines. The extra danger and railroad cost matter little right now, as Gercke is firmly on our side and the Russians are extremely battered after only a week of fighting. Von-Brauchitsch Does not approve, however.
Further offensives have occured, courtesy of the Romanians. A whole armored division has punched a hole over the Dniester and is now just sitting outside of Odessa, having exhausted the crew. All that stands in their way is a staff office and a weak infantry division. Further, three Soviet divisions have been trapped between the Black Sea and the Dniester river.
The state of the war thus far. In some places, we have pushed back the Ruskies over 400 kilometers in just over two weeks! Guderian's Panzers have to rest after such a feat, but the offensive cannot be halted. Once Guderian's PanzerGruppe has rested, they will be brought back up to the front and tasked with defeating the Soviet armies in front of Kiev, in preparation for the pocketing of the city.
But for now, we must take pleasure in the fact that the Reds are broken, fleeing for their lives! This shameful display might live on history if we can capitalize on this victory, but for now we must wait. Join us in the next installment of...

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Game: Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa

Unternehmen Barbarossa! | A Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa AAR | Part 3

Images: 30, author: throwthetrash16, published: 2017-02-12, edited: 2017-02-14

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