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

Published: 2017-02-12, 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 2

Images: 40, author: throwthetrash16, published: 2017-02-11, edited: 2017-02-14

Welcome back to the third installment of Unternehmen Barbarossa. In our last installment, the Soviet lines had been pushed back between 200 to 400 kilometers all along the line. Bialystok and Brest-Litowsk were captured and the Red 10th Army was surrounded and destroyed. They've been hit hardest in Ruthenia, were almost two armies are surrounded and the road to Kiev begins to open.
Fourth diary entry. We have been blessed by good weather and low saturation. We can expect that to change soon by Winter with the Raputitsa muds, however.
Rundstedt has agreed to my command to allow von-Kleist more operational freedom. It is clear that the assault on Kiev will require speed to cut off the Russian troops in their continued retreat and we cannot allow the needs of the infantry, no matter how dire, to force us to ignore this great opportunity.
Guderian has reported that field combat tests with high octane fuel show great and immediate results. Against the protests of Goering and the Luftwaffe, we will stockpile enough for one PanzerGruppe, most likely von-Kleist's in the south. The Soviet Air Arm is already destroyed, there is no more need for large-scale air offensives. This fuel can be used elsewhere.
The aggressive nature of our Panzer commanders has resulted in the 16th Division becoming lost from signal range of von-Kleist! Obviously, it was necessary to surround the Soviets before they could escape the pocket in Lwow, but we must be more careful from now on.
More Soviet divisions have arrived near Odessa. We have marched more infantry over the Dniester to support the Romanian Panzers, but the city is now garrisoned and we have to enter a siege. The road to Proskurow will be taken by von-Stulpnagel's 17th as they rush south wards. A quick assault here will result in three whole armies being pocketed.
More Soviets have arrived south of the Pripyat Marshes.
Kaunas and Vilnius have been captured...
...which has opened up a massive breach and allowed our infantry a speedy encirclement of Soviet forces. The lack of land-borne supplies combined with the Unterseeboot blockade of Windau will hopefully bring this struggle to a quick close.
A performance evaluation thus far (all points except logistics default at 50%). Tactical prowess has been high and in the coming months our strategical gains will grow as more important cities are taken. However, our poor relationship with Keitel and Wagner has limited our leadership performance.
Fifth diary entry.
The 4th Army now has the arduous task of conquering the roads through the Pripyat marshes. Unlike most other areas, trucks are useless here and so we will largely be single file along the railroad to Gomel.
Just north of von-Kluge, Strauss' 9th and Hoth's 3rd PanzerGruppe have met strong Soviet lines. Plenty of armor and trucks have been brought here to ensure our advance on Minsk, just miles away, is unsuccessful. We will have to wait a week before the attack begins, but Guderian will soon be in reserve and can be brought up if necessary.
The front lines are now close enough to Minsk to begin shelling the city. A captured 88 Flak gun is being brought rearward here to help shore up the defenses of the soon-to-be-doomed city.
Meanwhile, the Baltic Front has just become a mess of things. The Soviet 8th Army has been cut off in the west and Windau is undefended, but just behind them half of the 18th German Army has been surrounded south of the city.
An ad hoc formation of 18th and 16th Army infantry divisions were sent to quickly secure the lines here and prevent runaway Soviet divisions from flanking our rear or even getting back to Soviet lines. A near-disaster has occured today, we cannot- no, will not- let it happen again!
Rundstedt has recommended we give out a division citation to those who participated in the battle of Przemsyl. It is as Napoleon said; "A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon". If we can bolster morale as easily as this, why not?
Another of Hitler's yes-men, Jodl, has finally come to his senses and realized the potential of Austrian oil fields. This is essential as...
...our Panzers are beginning to drink the reserves of oil away! We must order the commanders to avoid unnecessary movements for now (reducing oil consumption and removing 10% of the 50% combat bonus we used to have). If the Austrian fields can get up and running quickly enough, this can be rectified, but for now we must avoid guzzling it all up.
A costly attack on Odessa has resulted in 20% casualties for the Romanian armor.
In Ruthenia, the 17th is advancing to reinforce the Romanian's north flank and the 1st PanzerGruppe is pushing on towards Proskurow. The 6th is reforming in preparation to perform a pincer on the 5th Soviet Army. Some stragglers close to Lublin are being dealt with by a detachment of infantry.
Sixth diary entry.
Just before the 17th could arrive, the Soviets made a penetration in the 3rd Romanian's lines. Their headquarters was directly attacked, but quickly retreated. Many capable Romanian officers were killed and Antonescu, himself in command of the 4th Romanian, is demanding German support immediately.
The 11th had to be diverted north-west to plug the gaps, but the arrival of the 1st PanzerGruppe and 17th Army has ensured this sector will not fall.
Guderian's Panzers are back in to action after two weeks of rest.
AGN has finally stabilized the Baltic. Once enough troops have crossed the Daugava river we will begin the siege of Riga and move on to Ostrov. Von-Leeb has lobbied for an attack on Leningrad. If there is fuel to spare and troop displacements on both sides permit, we shall allow it.
Seventh diary entry. AGS is becoming increasingly bold. Though the Soviets have amassed more and more troops in Ruthenia, Rundstedt is only more pleased, stating "We have an opportunity here to cut off the head of snake, in one fell swoop!"
Von-Leeb has brought to our attention an atrocity committed by our own troops. In an apparent rage after the killing of several of their friends in an assault, they have hung and quartered numerous Latvian and Russian peasants in the village of Daugavpils. We must acknowledge this incident. Any cover ups and we may make the populace even more resentful towards us.
The assault on Minsk is underway. Three Soviet armored divisions have been annihilated and the northern sector is thinly defended by either lone divisions or amassed under-strength divisions. Minsk has now become a front city and the shelling will not stop until the town is either taken or all who dwell within it are dead.
Within less than a month we have conquered the Baltic up to the Daugava, reached halfway through Belarus and are now beginning to pour through Ruthenia. Though fierce resistance is beginning to be felt, the Russians are a long way from having even ground. In the next installment of Unternehmen Barbarossa we will begin our pincer movement around Minsk, slog to the Dnieper through the Pripyat Marshes, begin the siege of Riga and smash the southern Soviet armies in Ruthenia from the west, north and south simultaneously!

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Game: Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa

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

Images: 26, author: throwthetrash16, published: 2017-03-15

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