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Posted on Nov 29, 2004 in Armchair Reading

Braunschweig – An After Action Report Part VII

By Zachary Hutchinson

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

TURN 27

Ahh – I love it when a plan comes together. Four rifle divisions from the 28th Army showed up in Astrakhan this turn. I’ve cleared out the city to make way for the rest of their arrival. I haven’t pushed them across the river as I am waiting for an engineering unit to show up to fix the bridge. I want a good supply line wherever I decide to go.

The German advance down the Caspian is four hexes north of Kachmas. I considered the plan I hatched last turn and I decided against it. He’s pushing down the coast with diligence, keeping some strong units up against the mountains to protect his western flank. My initial drop of holding units – the northern most X – would be found out and I think the battle would develop into a giant ‘L’ shaped front. The main goal is to hold the peninsula. So that is where I’ll keep my forces. However, I am sending several of the Caucasus nationals north to slow his progress. Some will start to withdraw once T’bilisi falls. Speaking of which, it held on this turn.

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The rest of the south is pretty much the same except for the fact that Tbilisi is now completely encircled.

Southern Stalingrad Offensive:

The front for the Germans is stabilizing. I managed to brutalize the 6th Pz Gr. Regiment holding the northern side of this line. It is the strongest unit the Germans have invested here.

Figure 27-1

Stalingrad Front (Rumanian sector):

As you can see, the constant harassment I’ve been dealing out to the Rumanians and weak German units along this small, but important, section of the line is paying off. This turn I evaporated several units and forced a large hole in the line exposing German artillery and rail artillery to direct attack. I wasn’t able to properly exploit this hole, but he’ll have a time filling it next turn.

Stalingrad Front (City sector):

No progress for either side here. I can’t push him back and he can’t take the city. So we kill our soldiers for the same few miles of land each turn.

Don Front (Surovinko Offensive):

Figure 27-2

The push to cut the rail line has made good progress. The assault gun unit in the middle of the shot refused to move this turn hampering what should have been a near breakthrough. A good deal of this offensive has followed the Rumanian retreat to the west. The upper left hand corner shows a developing pocket of German units. However, if I am going to be fully supplied and ready for the big Soviet shock offensive on turns 34-36, I’ll have to start quieting this front.

Figure 27-3

Don Front (western sector):

In an attempt to further destabilize the western end of the front, Foggy pushed the units you see in 27-3 across the Don. Had several reserve divisions, intended to reinforce the actual front, not been a few hexes away from his crossing, I might have been in big trouble. As you can see, the actual raiding party north of the Don doesn’t pack much punch. It lacks access to a bridge and looks in no health to take one further east. You can see a routed Soviet brigade guarding a destroyed bridge over the Don. The Italians (off map) might be able to take this next turn. In the bottom left hand corner, take note of the entrained reinforcements. Several counterattacks along the butt of the front opened a small hole and exposed a Rumanian HQ. This might force him to yank back that German regiment along the river that’s cramping my style. Worse comes to worst, he’ll chop off the end of the Don and hold it. Fine.

Overall:

It’s looking like this might turn into a mock up of the original Soviet offensive.  I plan to keep up the Don Offensive until I cut the railroad around Surovinko. Then I’ll drop the level of activity and rearm. Of course the planning for the big offensive will depend on where the German line looks weak. Here’s the plan…take out your maps. Three prongs coming from the Don Front. One from the southern Stalingrad Front. One launches from around Bokovskaya. It may only entail the units, which are already there – a rested 6th army and 17th tank corp. It’s initial target is Millerovo, which will hamper any German reinforcements trying to cut into my flank as this will sever the rail line which runs up to the north of the map.

[continued on nextpage]

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