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

Published: 2017-03-15

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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 3

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

Welcome to the fourth part of this AAR. Today we begin with the continuing charge through Ruthenia by the 17th Army to link up with the 3rd Romanian.
Whilst the lines have not been pushed far back here, Bessarabia is now in the rightful hand of the Romanians, having lost it only a year before to the Soviets. The mixed Romano-German 11th Army has begun a wheeling maneuver around the Soviet battle line at Odessa in an attempt to cut them off. However, the troops here are spent after weeks of continuous fighting and many divisions are unable to continue moving. As soon as Odessa is secured, they shall go on leave for two weeks before attacking Crimea.
Looking back north, the Finnish front has stabilized and soon we will attempt a breakthrough against the 71st Infantry and 26th Border divisions in Karelia. This offensive will be planned and launched by Mannerheim himself, with certain obligations of support by the Germans.
Even after a secret meeting in the outskirts of Vaasa, Mannerheim has denied any attempt against pushing past the original 1939 border with the USSR, at least until the Germans have captured Narva or Luga. Hitler has remarked "the silly man overestimates the degenerate Reds. Kruppstahl will easily crush their barbaric villages!"
For now, it would seem as if Herr Hitler is correct. The Soviets have take a massive beating for such minimal losses on our part, most of which have occured against the Romanians.
The eighth diary entry. Himmler has asked Army HQ if we can...
...put these columns to better use?
A not entirely unexpected aspect of war has occured. The Romanian armored divisions are finding it increasingly difficult to operate with our Blitzkrieg tactics. I'd rather not upset our fragile alliances, but war is war, and we need able men.
Our attempt to have the 11th encircle the Soviets near Odessa has failed as the Ruskies retreated across the Southern Bug river. We had to shift our armies right, however the arrival of the 17th to the front has made the retreat backfire. Without support and having been flanked from the north, south and west the 12th Red Army will be crushed.
The 1st PanzerGruppe under von-Kleist is beginning to cut the 12th off and the 6th is beginning to advance upon Kiev. Contrary to plans, the arrival of new Soviet divisions has made the Panzers divert. There will likely not be a quick assault on Kiev, but rather a lengthy siege which...
...will require heavy guns, of which a few Karl-Gerät, surplus Great War Gamma Mörser and numerous Haubitze types have been scrounged and assembled in Warsaw. Within the next few weeks they will begin their journey.
The two PanzerGruppen of AGC have begun an encirclement of the 22nd Soviet Army in Minsk. The pincer has not yet connected, but fierce fighting has occured in the rear outskirts of the city.
Almost a month ago on June 27th, Stalin authorized the creation of blocking troops attached to units of weaker morale. These units are under-equipped and were the only defense behind the Soviet lines. After days of shelling and bombing, there was nowhere for the rats to hide. Whole suburbs (as pictured) have been turned to nothing but ash and stray logs.
As the walls of Soviet rifles are breached, so too is the Daugava river. Three divisions have thus far pushed over the bridges and soon the Totenkopf division will assault Dunaburg.
The forests of Karelia have given perfect cover from the 122mm field howitzers that the Reds have put into action. Leningrad, however, has been reinforced by a whole army! Any hope of assault from the north is gone, and it is in our best interests to wait them out. Coaxing the troops south will pay off better than a direct assault, even if we had overwhelming numbers and the city surrounded.
The ninth diary entry. The pocket around Minsk will soon form.
Much needed replacements have been assembled. Most divisions are perfectly fine for now, however there are several that have taken over 20% losses and need immediate reprieve.
Von-Leeb is demanding a division sanction. Retreating whilst in combat when under only minor difficulty cannot be accepted. War is not the time for children's tantrums (this incurs an attack and defense penalty against the division permanently).
The offensive must continue. We'd rather have a slower couple of days for repair matters than have it suddenly grind to a halt forever because we put this on the back plate.
The Raputitsa has begun! Everywhere in the north and center the roads have become bogged with mud and rain. Trains are the only reliable form of transport but even then large efforts are required to clear blocked tracks.
In response to this slowing of the offensive, the 4th Romanian will be ordered to rest immediately. Four of it's six divisions have reached about 65% effectiveness already and need to be strong for the assault on Crimea.
The 12th Army is captured...
...and Minsk has been leveled to a ghost town.
The 22nd Army has been trapped in the city, along with an NKVD division. Split between the forests and the urban buildings, the army has put in a great struggle and inflicted heavy casualties on our Panzers.
The Raputitsa has bogged down AGN and the army securing the Pripyat Marshes. It will take weeks for the dirt roads of the USSR to dry again, but we still have six months to take Rostov. Time is of the essence, but we have a lot of it for now.
Barbarossa has so far been a success. massive casualties have been inflicted and large amounts of land has been gained. However, the offensive is beginning to slow and the Soviets are gaining more and more troops. The coming battle will surely be arduous, but that is for the next installment of Unternehmen Barbarossa!

Next chapter:

Game: Decisive Campaigns: Barbarossa

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

Images: 33, author: throwthetrash16, published: 2017-03-15

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