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Posted on Nov 18, 2004 in Armchair Reading

Braunschweig – An After Action Report Part IV

By Zachary Hutchinson

(To view part three of the Braunschweig AAR series, click here).

TURN 15

I made a decision this turn to break up my rear guard southeast of Stalingrad and move them out to recon against the Germans down here. I feel I’m giving Foggy a comfortable southern flank in allowing it to be inactive. I kind of sense the same from him. I don’t think he knows how to approach it either. I’ve also pushed my Volga defense force across the river and into a semi-circle. I think a defense of the Volga is foolish. I need to keep him contained around his central axis of attack, leaving me the wide flanks to exploit.

The 6th Army and 17th Tank Corp were released for active duty along the extreme upper Don. I wrangled with myself over where to place them. I even considered moving them to Stalingrad to help with the defense once the Germans were rested. In the end, I decided to be proactive and position them north of the river at Veshenskaya. Intel shows a few German regiments south of this position. From the German Corp HQ stationed south of the river, I guess there are more than a few lined up on the opposite bank. There is also a sizable medley of reconstitutes at Yelenskaya. [See figure 15-1].

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Figure 15-1

Well, the battle for Mackhachkala still hasn’t gotten underway. But to its west, within the Andiyskoye River valley, the 11th NKVD and the 349th RD supported by a reserve tank brigade are having a hard time keeping the Germans in check. The NKVD has been flanked by elements of the 371st ID, while a mixture of tanks from Leibstandarte and SS Wiking knock on the front door [15-2].

Figure 15-2

When they breach the pass (the road running off the right side of the picture), they will be in the rear of my Mackhachkala defense. The road leading off to the left takes them down through another pass before out into the valley northeast of Tbilisi.

Most of the passes through the highlands have seen action. The Black Sea Coast Defense [BSCD], while not yet under attack, has met the enemy. Every turn sees another RD shipping off to Baku. I could use more armor down there, and I’ll have to make a point of it over the next couple of turns. I am starting to worry that if the Germans push through the mountains and through Mackhachkala, I won’t have anything to slow them down north of Baku. Do I burn a few divisions in a delaying action along the Caspian? Or do I keep everything locked down for the final siege? Decisions.

TURN 16

Figure 16-1

Well what do you know! The Germans were moving units toward the Volga crossing at Aktubinsk. And I seem to have caught them off guard and outnumbered. The three units along the left side of the picture are the southern sweeping remains of my rear defense. But I can’t get too hasty or overconfident here. There is movement to the southwest near the lakes. This could just be the first wave – but I kind of doubt it.

[continued on nextpage]

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