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Posted on Nov 20, 2004 in Armchair Reading

Braunschweig – An After Action Report Part V

By Zachary Hutchinson

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

TURN 19

I decided to throw the 6th Army and the 17th Tank Corps across the upper Don. I’m not so sure it was a smart idea. I considered pulling them out of their attack positions and feeding them into the offensive sectors already underway. I’m worried that under even a slight German counter attack, they might crumble. But I went ahead and sent them over. I’m not sure if he pulled units from this sector, but resistance was stiff. The 17th Tank Corps led the way, pushing off the river, driving through an Italian division like it was a field of grass. But the battle isn’t over. I may find myself fighting for every hex beyond the river.

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The rest of the northern offensive pushed onward meeting the German 295th ID and several Italian divisions south of Serafimovich. Those units ensnaring the Germans north of Verhne Businovskiy made contact with the Rumanians who came to prevent the destruction of the entire German northern flank. It looks like I won’t catch anything game breaking for Foggy, but I have caught a good deal of German artillery and elements of the 16th Pz Div.

The southern Stalingrad offensive is in clean up mode. Its forward recon caught up with some fleeing Germans along the road northwest out of Dagan Nur.

Figure 19-1

The Germans are seeping through into South Ossetia [19-1]. In the NW corner of this shot, west of Mt. Sugan you can just make out the unguarded pass through which the Italian Mt Corp slipped. In the center, you can see that German infantry, with the aid of some armor forced this pass using a combination of cavalry, mountain units and some recon elements. The two-regiment strong road block on the road south to Tori might last a few turns as long as the Germans stay bottle necked by the stubborn soldiers remaining in the passes.

The Italian Cuneense Division slipped through the pass near Mt. Sugan and heading southwest made a brave attempt to cut a huge chunk out of the western shore. The Soviet Marines stopped them just outside of Samtredia.

Mackhachkala is totally lost along with a good deal of Soviet strength in the area. SS Wiking and 23rd Pz having cleared the valley to the west and are attempting to sweep eastward trapping my defending line. If it holds, I might start pulling back as much as I can to a new line south.

TURN 20

Mackhachkala line collapsed. I pulled back as much as I could (which isn’t much: two semi fresh battalions, a battered regiment from some army, a mountain army brigade and a brigade from the NKVD). I did salvage most of my artillery and HQ units – but they won’t do me much good in slowing the Germans.

In the rest of the south, everything looks more or less like it did last turn.

The conglomeration of units trying to retake Astrakhan is doing better than expected. The 22nd Luftlande are wilting back toward the city. I should be able to take it sooner or later. Maybe several more good turns I can force the city, splitting the paratroopers in two.

The southern Stalingrad offensive has now pushed to the strings of marshland running between the lakes. The 129th German Pz Battalion is nearly trapped along an unnamed lake, but other than that I’ve met with no real resistance. If nothing shows up in the next few turns, his southern wing around Lake Barmanchak might have to pull back. The problem I see for Foggy is that he has enough around Stalingrad to stop my two offensives, but in order to do that (unless he has a good deal of armor in reserve, which I doubt), he’ll have to strip some off from his push on the city. And in doing that, his offensive won’t last much longer. That’s all I was really shooting for in moving these units forward, just so I can stop throwing more fodder on Moloch’s fires along the southern Volga.

Figure 20-1

Here’s a nice picture of Foggy’s push on Stalingrad. Each turn, I counter attack, perhaps driving one of his more exposed units back, but he’s gaining ground. The city is still up for grabs – it’s just a question of who wants it more and who’s willing to sacrifice the line elsewhere. I’m putting as little as possible into the city. He’s just come off several shock turns for, well, I forget – I think it was the bombing of Baku – or maybe Stalingrad itself. Dunno.

[continued on nextpage]

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