The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 6. September Offensive

Author: Mattekillert
Published: 2017-02-01

Part of the campaign:

The Thousand Year Reich

Previous part:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 5, Operation Barbarossa

Images: 51, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01

Hello and welcome back to The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 6, September Offensive.

The success of Operation Barbarossa had been astonishing to everyone in Germany, from the children who saw the propaganda films of their victorious fathers to the Führer himself; Germany was in fervor.

Only The Advisor seemed to realize the war wasn’t over yet and was quick to draw up plans with Herr Manstein. The plan was not the same organized offensive with timetables and paradrops that Barbarossa had been. The disorganized Heer would need time to set up a proper front and wait for the infantry who was stuck far back destroying the various pockets left behind by the panzer divisions.

Instead of waiting the advance was to continue various panzer concentrations left behind from the pockets made during the summer would act independent of each other. Split into Kampfgruppen named after the generals in command their goals was to secure a strong defensive line in the south along the Don River.
In the center of the front Moscow must be surrounded so we can weaken the defenders over the winter with a prolonged siege followed by an assault next summer. Here Paulus “The hero of Rotterdam” would be in the lead but his kampgruppe was by far the weakest as it was mostly infantry. Reinforcements are too rushed here as they become available.
In the north the Fortress Busters have managed to break through the initial defenders in Leningrad but are still only in the outskirts of the city and it remains to be seen if there is any more resistance inside the city.
The Lehr brigade runs into a flood of Soviet divisions east of Moscow. Outnumbered 10-1 the battle will be hard fought. To add onto this the increasing amounts of mud is making the advance a lot harder. Thankfully some roads can be found outside of Moscow.
The 22. Luflande-Division makes a drop to take back Hanko for the Finns. Our Fallschirmjäger doctrine is constantly evolving with our troops making use of new gliders to land heavier equipment like anti-tank guns and light artillery. The lessons learned in Cyprus are being put to good use in the east.
As Model and his Fortress Buster korps came deeper into the city they ran into more of the people’s militia. Through sheer self-sacrifice and what Model calls “Reckless carelessness for their own lives” the militia is halting the Fortress Buster divisions in the city. Now artillery, panzers and flamethrowers will clear out the wretched rats.
In the south a large Soviet panzer formation appears. It is believed they are produced in the old tractor factories in Stalingrad. The Soviets are severely lacking in doctrinal use of their panzer formations however and as such our own divisions are more than a match for them even outnumbered 5-1.
The supply situation in mid-September is looking up. The only real issue can be seen in the north and the center is developing problems. The increasing amount of mud is not helping the supply situation as many roads are becoming unusable.
The Fortress Buster korps is joined by the SS in taking the city. The SS may be lacking in the equipment for such an operation but their sheer ferocity makes them perfect for the hardest assaults. Whenever a building needs to be taken and volunteers are requested entire SS units take on the task.
The Panzer division ‘Condor’ runs into one of the many elite Guard divisions raised to defend Moscow. Their determination is equal to that of the SS in their carelessness for casualties and ferocity. German operational skill and our experienced NCO’s makes our troops far superior in their fighting ability to even the Guard divisions.
However outnumbered 10-1 and under attack from 3 flanks breaking Noginsk proved too much for Krause and his Division.
As Kampfgruppe Brauchitsch has achieved his objective most of his units are sent to Moscow to help in dealing with the heavy resistance encountered.
The 22. Luftlande seize Hanko from the Soviet defenders with low casualties. The province is quickly returned to the Finns and the division holds a brief parade in Helsinki where Mannerheim personally awards several of the brave men with the Mannerheim Cross.
The fleet set outside of Leningrad to provide support includes the newest and best ships of the Kreigsmarine. Much like the battle of Rotterdam Leningrad is being devastated by heavy naval guns.
After the French joined the war on the side of the Germans Belgian forces were quick to advance from the Congo into French Africa.
But to the east of the Congo the Italian army is rapidly approaching. The Advisor is still in denial that Mussolini would actually be stupid enough to send 75% of his army to fight in East Africa. Hitler was convinced it was for national prestige The Advisor however saw it as ridiculous. The constant request for industrial aid by the Italians was also getting on his nerves. Over 200 requests had been made with the first 20 being denied. The other 180 had simply been ignored. It still remains to be seen if Mussolini will ever get the memo.
The Wehrmacht is guzzling fuel in the east and whenever more becomes available it is sent east. It is becoming increasingly hard to supply all panzer divisions with adequate fuel. Hitler was in a complete panic about the state of the fuel stockpile but The Advisor wasn’t overly worried however him calmly telling the Führer that “fuel fluctuates in Black Ice don’t worry about it” didn’t calm him much.
The battle of Shakhty showcased the absurdity of the battle in the south. The Soviets are in love with concentrating all their panzer divisions in the same place. KV-1’s, T-34’s and BT-7’s all work together to break into the German lines. The 103. Panzer-Division gets the terrifying task of attacking into this rolling behemoth to prevent it from destroying the lines around the Don and Donets.
The difference in fighting between Arabia and the Soviet Union is terrifying. The concentration of Soviet units around Moscow is growing constantly. Paulus keeps requesting reinforcements that don’t exist. All German reserves are already in battle along the line.
Two weeks after the being of the operation much of the territory put out to be taken has been secured. However around Moscow the advance has barely gotten anywhere. Moscow must be surrounded!
Operation Arabian Freedom is a success and our units move on to secure the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.
The Soviets take insane losses trying to repel us from Moscow but for every Russian killed another 3 seem to appear.
The difference between the civilized battles against the British and the brutal battles against the Soviets.
On the 1. October terrifying news reaches OKW. Snow has begun to fall around Moscow with temperatures dropping to -10 Celsius during the night. Fighting is becoming increasingly difficult for our troops around Moscow. Pictured are men of the 14. Flak battalion attached to the 78. Infantry Division. Even in this freezing weather they must always be ready to repel the Soviet armor.
The Abwehr has reported that Stalin has evacuated Moscow and is hiding around Vladivostok. A raid is approved by the Abwehr using special commando units.
Attacking is becoming near impossible as snow falls increase.
Great news reach OKW as Beria is found dead in a strafed car east of Moscow. If only Stalin hadn’t gotten away! Werner von Braun also reports the first of small rocket research has finished allowing the construction of what he calls the V-1 rocket.
Förster and his BF-110 wings are sent to Korea to support the landings. The Japanese are happy to allow us to use their airfields to try to kill Stalin. The destruction of the majority of the Soviet army has left only a small part of the Soviet army around Manchuria and as such the Japanese Kwangtung army doesn’t fear a Soviet attack to counter the strike.
More Soviet panzer armies appear around Moscow. Our troops are outnumbered to a terrifying degree around Moscow.
A recon mission launched over Vladivostok discovers disheartening news for the raid against Stalin. The coward has brought with him one of the few KV-1 brigades the Soviet Union has! The coward takes his own security over the security of his nation!
The Battle of Leningrad continues. Even a Finnish infantry division has joined in the assault to show their commitment to the war.
The red woods of Khimki is littered with the dead the casualty rate of 23 to 1 is impressive news back home as our heroic resistance continues.
Another urban battleground is the city of Kalinin as the southern side of the Volga must be secured to create a solid defensive line. Lacking in proper equipment losses are high for the poor infantry sent to clear out the city.
Partisan activity is very high in Belarus and central western Russia. In the Ukraine Hungarian and Romanian troops are doing a good job of suppressing the various partisans active in the area.
To secure the rest of our backlines the new SS security police is sent east. The Einsatzgruppen will show no mercy to the Soviet partisans. For each dead German at least 10 Soviet civilians will pay the price. A destroy bridge over the Neman resulted in the destruction of 3 villages totaling some 800 dead civilians. No mercy to soldiers who wear no uniform!
The 22. Luftlande-Division who had been sent to Korea is sent back as their equipment is in no way adequate to take on a KV-1 brigade.
The battles around Moscow continue to claim German lives at a horrifying rate.
Noginsk, the last open route to Moscow is held by the Soviets at a terrifying loss of life for our troops. Paulus calls of the attack, Moscow will have to wait until next spring.
Hitler is shocked by the news. Perhaps he will have to take more control in the east after all.
The advantage of the frozen weather is the drying up of the mud. Supplies and fighting is becoming easier as the weather gets colder. The lack of winter clothing for our troops is however making survival tough on the eastern front.
Operation Typhoon a direct order given by Hitler to secure Moscow once and for all is due to be launched soon. The Advisor argued but to no avail the attacks around Moscow will continue.
In Oman Masqat is seized by our panzers.
Every single Stuka is sent to help destroy the Leningrad garrison. An average of 600 Stukas are constantly over Leningrad bombing the city to complete ruins. Leningrad must be taken!
In attack the Soviets are unable to break our tough soldiers.
The amount of snow is always increasing and by now temperatures are dropping below -20 Celsius during the night. Engines have to be started every few hours to prevent the engines from breaking down and our soldiers are increasingly dying to the cold rather than Soviet attacks.
Even so they must attack. Operation Typhoon is sure to be a disaster for our troops around Moscow who need to be allowed to dig in and make fires to stay alive in the cold.
A puppet is established in Oman to help keep the area under control. We have no need to hold the deserts directly. The Schtz Bat is often called the Africa Division by the OKW. They have fought in Crete, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq and now Arabia. True desert warriors!
The Soviets seem to have equally insane orders as they continue to assault us as well. Their losses are needless to say incalculable.
The resistance in Leningrad is almost over.
And on the 13 of November resistance finally ends in the city. In total some 23.000 German men died in the three separate battles for the city but with it the Baltic is under our complete control.
The last of the Soviet Baltic fleet sails out to go down in a blaze of glory. The Bismarck and the Tirpitz sink ship after ship and the Soviet sailors die in their thousands. Some are saved by German vessels but many either drown or die in the cold waters of the Baltic.
Just as celebrations are held for the great victory at Leningrad terrifying news reach Berlin. The United States joins the war against the Axis. The sinking of many vessels by our submarines has triggered them just like in the previous war. Now their enormous industry stands against us and news have already reached us that they are supplying the Soviets with vast industrial aid.

In a mere two months Germany has lost near 250.000 men in the east. There have been great victories in Leningrad but Moscow still stands resolute and as The Advisor repeatedly tells the Führer. Winter is coming and our men have no winter clothing. We must now pay the price for our arrogance.

Next chapter:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 7, Red Snow

Images: 56, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01

Check out another AAR:

Game: Europa Universalis IV

MEIOU&Taxes 2.0 Brittany AAR/Mod Showcase -- Part 0: Prologue

Images: 15, author: Findan, published: 2017-07-03, edited: 2017-07-07