The Tide has Turned: Chapter 1

Author: Mattekillert
Published: 2017-02-01, edited: 1970-01-01

Part of the campaign:

The Tide has Turned

Hello and welcome to The Tide has Turned, a Germany campaign using DWI (Deutsche Wehrmacht Immersion) mod. It as the names suggests focuses mostly on Germany. I will be playing the revamped 1943 scenario on hard difficulty.

Historically 1943 was the turning point of the eastern front. The surrender of the 6. Armee at Stalingrad led to a collapse of the southern front. The Red army launched offensives all over the Ukraine and began pushing back the Germans. But with fresh panzer forces von Manstein launched a extremely successful counteroffensive which stabilized the front. But the later battle of Kursk shattered any hope of a German victory as the panzer forces of the Wehrmacht was all but annihilated. Germany would never regain the initiative again.
It has been just over two months since the launch of Operation Uranus by the Red Army. The defense of the flanks had been left to allied troops who lacked the will and equipment to resist the Soviet horde.They left behind 250.000 soldiers trapped in the city of Stalingrad. The Führer has refused any attempts of a breakout and the rescue attempt had to be abandoned. The overall situation in the east is grim to say the least. The tide is turning.
Only some 60.000 men remain in the city of Stalingrad. Many have been killed or captured by the Red Army. The Führer has of course ordered Paulus to fight to the last man. But the situation is beyond hopeless. Surrender seems to only be a few days away.
The Führer in his infinite wisdom decided to send in a fuckton of valuable and desperately needed equipment to Tunisia for whatever fucking reason. The complete lack of any support from the Regina Marina leaves around 200.000 men trapped here currently. It is however hoped that they can hold out for a few months while we build transport ships.
The genius of the Führer is truly astonishing. For years he didn't give a shit about Africa but when the situation was approaching collapse he decided to send everything in. Truly a genius move my Führer!
Recent offensives by the Soviets has left some 20 divisions stuck behind enemy lines. Manstein has ordered a all out attack to free the trapped men. They will not suffer the fate of the men at Stalingrad!
In the north a similar plan is hatched by Guderian but it is unlikely to succeeded due to terrain and a lack of divisions.
A overview of the German army in the east (god this oob was a pain)
The southern army group has the most armor but also has the misfortune of having some 200.000 allied troops who lack a good reputation after Stalingrad.
The northern army group covers a lot of land but the terrain favors the defender and it is hoped that they can seize Leningrad and then stay on the defensive.
And so it begins.
The remains of the previously much vaunted Luftwaffe.
The Red Army is squeezing the remaining German troops tighter and tighter.
Mussolini held a fiery speech about an army of "8 million bayonets" today. But with the disasters in the east and the news of the trapped Italians in Africa Mussolini is barely holding onto power in Italy. Hopefully the rescue of the Italian troops can restore some morale.
More tank destroyers for the Heer!
The Hungarians are panicking and have already started surrendering. It doesn't look like we can reach them in time.
No Hitler you can't have bomb racks, stop being stupid.
Early on the 3rd of February we received the last report from the 6. Armee. Hitler was convinced they had just lost radio contact but later in the day Paulus voice on Soviet radio gave Hitler a shock like no other. Hitler has closed himself inside the Eagle's nest. Suddenly there was nobody enforcing the hold your ground order. Perhaps the Wehrmacht can still be saved!
Manstein orders an immediate evacuation from the Caucasus to Kerch.
The last German division was overrun before the SS panzer divisions could reach them. The surrendering Hungarians exposed their flanks and they were left in a hopeless situation. Another division lost due to the incompetence of our allies!
Outrageous! The Italian units that we were trying to save surrendered without even putting up a fight! 22.000 men couldn't kill a single Russian.
But the brave Germans still hold on in the south. Where is Stalingrad the soldiers had faith in the Führer. Here the men pray that Manstein would come for them.
Super stugs!
Heavy fighting rages all around. Panzer divisions fight hard to free their trapped brothers.
In Tunisia the Italians are showing more worth working together with German Panzer divisions.
A short respite for the brave men still holding out.
A defense line is drawn up by Manstein and Guderian. The lack of interference from the Führer should allow the Heer to make a excellent defensive line.
The overzealous attacks by Soviet forces in the north has left Leningrad weakened. German infantry divisions rush in to exploit the mistake. The fighting is tough but the German infantry must triumph!
The Soviets are closing to the breaking point.
A breakthrough!
The men of the Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler establish contact with the trapped men of Strelitsa. An immediate evacuation has begun.
The news of the rescued 60.000 Germans has given a much needed boost to the morale of the German soldier. Perhaps the situation can still be saved after all. The Soviets may have turned the tide but Manstein is turning it right back at them!
With the rescued men there is no longer a point in holding onto empty plains. The Wehrmacht will retreat and form a solid defense line.
Try harder.
After brutal fighting that claimed some 50.000 lives Leningrad is captured. Hitler lost one great city but Guderian replaced it in less than two weeks!
The Kreigsmarine intercepts the Soviet navy based at Leningrad.
Much of the Soviet navy managed to escape. But it has nowhere to hide!
The terrain simply made it impossible for the northern pocket to be saved. Their brave sacrifice will not be forgotten. Men of Demjansk you will not be forgotten!
The Romanians are sent out first. Manstein refuses to rely on them to hold the line while Germans evacuate.
With Hitler missing Albert Speer manages to get some much needed reforms through. Based Speer provides many panzers!
Good news!
Another victory for the Kreigsmarine!
Hold on men in Tunisia. Germany has not forgotten you!
The remains of the 32. Infantry division is protecting a hill in the forest of Demjansk. The Germans continue blaring out "Die Fahne Hoch" over the loudspeakers as the last swastika flag waves in the wind.

Recommended listening.
The Leibstandarte showed their worth in the south so the Wiking division is reinforced.
The last heroes of Demjansk fought on without ammunition for several days. Bayonets and Soviet weapons was the last means of defense against the Soviet hordes. Around lunch time on the 1st of March 1943 the last swastika in Demjansk was lowered by Soviet forces. The record player still playing Die Fahne hoch was smashed by angered Soviet troops. Their sacrifice shall not be in vain!
Autonomy? FOR DENMARK? HA! In your dreams!
What many already knew has finally filtered through to the German people. The disaster at Stalingrad. There is no speech from the Führer only Goebbels is there to provide damage control. The great victories of Manstein and the capture of Leningrad by Guderian is the focus of Goebbels praise. The generals will turn the tide!
The lack of enforcment for the stand fast order has allowed German generals much more freedom in how to defend. They will defend better than ever before!
In a mere month the Wehrmacht has lost some 200.000 men on the eastern front. Along with that over a 100.000 allied forces, primarily Italians who have surrendered to the Soviets en masse. But now the defenses have been reached. Will the defense line hold, will Rommel survive in Tunisia and will the Führer ever return from the Eagle's nest? Find out in the next chapter of The Tide has Turned.

Wanna try out DWI yourself? Here is the link

Thank you for reading and until next time, auf wiedersehen!

Next chapter:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

The Tide has Turned: Chapter 2, The Evacuations

Images: 39, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01, edited: 1970-01-01

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