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Posted on Nov 26, 2004 in Armchair Reading

Braunschweig – An After Action Report Part VI

By Zachary Hutchinson

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

TURN 24

Due south of Lake Sarpa the Southern Offensive’s southern-most flank met a heavily reinforced German infantry division. Outclassed and outgunned, I’m hoping to get the drop on them this turn with several flank attacks. But it doesn’t seem to be working out. The Germans have too many HQs and artillery units in the area, which decimate the attacking Soviet rifle divisions.

Operation Braunschweig’s Heel has pushed the Germans back into the city of Astrakhan. The designer states specifically in his briefing for this scenario that a paradrop to cut the rail going south may be a waste of these Axis airborne units, and I think for two reasons in our case, he is correct. The para-regiments don’t stand up to any kind of attack very well. And being practically on an easily reinforceable rail line, I could have hit them quick and hard. I can’t think now why I waited. I suppose I thought Foggy eventually meant to reinforce them and push on to Gurbev. Honestly, diverting a few of the German’s stronger units to take Gurbev might not be such an insane idea. It could be done over the first 15 turns when the Soviets are starved for reinforcements for Stalingrad. It would cut off easy transport of units to Baku. I would say, if the Germans take the ahistorical, full effort Theater Options, then it might be worth it to them to try and take Gurbev as they are no doubt going for a Baku automatic victory. With Soviet sea and rail tonnage as low as it is, several turns without access to Baku by sea, will make a difference in the resistance found in the extreme south. But that’s just me letting my mind wander.

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The far western end of the Soviet northern offensive is starting to look precarious. Nearest a German railhead, more reinforcements pour into this area. And it is far away from 120,0 where all the Soviet reconstitutes arrive. But the attack continues in the north and south. Both have slowed dramatically, but that was to be expected. He’s still trying to claw his way into Stalingrad. I’m using anything I can that isn’t infantry to counterattack and drain off German men and supplies. He leaves most of the assaulting forces mobile making it easier.

By and large the map looks the same. BSCD held as did both mountain passes to its immediate east. The Marines are fighting tooth and nail to keep the Italian mountain division from reaching the coast. Grechko HQ was orange-lined this turn. I hope he makes it to Baku before the Germans. A regiment from the German 298th ID tore a hole in the fragile line north of Derbent along the Caspian coast. I still haven’t found a worthy use for the 90th Marines paratroopers so I moved them down to an airfield around Baku. Perhaps I’ll use them for some dastardly task once the Germans hit the approaches to Baku.

TURN 25

Figure 25-1

Figure 25-1 shows the progress made toward Surovinko over the last few turns. The Rumanian divisions are showing some mettle, but the Soviet concentration of artillery and armor in this developing salient is managing steady progress. I’d expect some German relief over the next few turns.

Stalingrad hasn’t changed much over the last two turns. He’s doing a good job of rotating worn units out. Every so often I’ve noticed a new string of green grenadier units move up into position. That’s always a scary sight. But he must be taking some right nice casualties. I’ve placed as much artillery as I can along the river and in the city to keep him from using too much infantry support. But there’s a chance that he picks a hole in the defense and it suddenly crumbles. The terrain is atrocious and a few steps back will put my defenders on the river and in the marshes.

Figure 25-2

Here’s a shot of the rather chaotic central section of the Southern Offensive. As you can see most of my units are red, and by all accounts I should consolidate and rest, but I can’t help attempting to bag a few more Germans before doing so. I’m trying to maneuver around these ants instead of plowing through them. Supplies are starting to reach this front with the average around 15% instead of 7. On the road it’s 19.

[continued on nextpage]

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