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Posted on Nov 29, 2004 in Armchair Reading

Braunschweig – An After Action Report Part VII

By Zachary Hutchinson

I attacked select areas this turn – trying to give my units a bit of rest for the coming offensive. I don’t think Foggy has much left in reserve around Stalingrad. He does have a large amount of artillery bombarding the city. And I think that’s the main reason why my rifle regiments don’t have much effect on his front line units. The 26th PzGr and 124th PzR are trapped behind my lines around Orlovka. He cut into my lines to the northeast, but doesn’t seem to have the reserves to exploit the opening. They can easily break free, but it would mean a direct retreat, and I have a feeling Foggy might see that as the beginning of the end‧an official halt to the Stalingrad offensive.

South of the city, I’m pushing toward the Don around Tinguta Stn. I don’t think this little attempt will go anywhere in the end as I don’t have sufficient reserves in this area. Many of them had to be shipped south to contain Foggy’s hook around the lakes.


The 129th PzReg is trapped behind my lines, which are moving farther and father west each turn. From all sides I’m throwing against it what little weight I can muster, but with negligible effects. A few panzers killed with each attack.

The Southern Offensive moves forward. There’s a road running north to south through Kiselevka and Zavetkoye. Once I take that, I’ll halt and let them rest along the higher supplied road.

The German hook around Lake Sarpa is hesitating around Sarpa. I’ve moved the 61st Cav Div around behind his force cutting the supplies coming from Chilgir. This should slow him while the line blocking northern movement advances southward.

I still haven’t gotten the bridge built to unleash the 28th Army. I will next turn regardless. I’m going to move them down the coast in hopes to reclaim some of the VP locations around the Terek region.

The 45th Army, still without Turks to fight, is having quite the time kicking the crap out of the lonely Germans sent to keep them busy. He tried to make a dash for Batumi, but he won’t make it without a good deal of reinforcements – and I think all are headed to Baku. I’m tempted to drop the Soviet paratroopers on Tbilisi, cutting that supply point – and landing some units along the Caspian coast – cutting that line.

The Germans reached Fortress Baku this turn. No attacks.

BSCD has fallen back to its original lines. The Germans are looking haggard and leery of moving up again – in mortal terror of the naval guns. So long as he continues an assault on Baku, he cannot fall back here. Well, he could, I suppose. I don’t have the manpower to push far enough north to cut all his rail lines. Reinforcements from Rostov would easily keep me from running too far. And once I’m out in the open away from the protection of the navy’s firepower, I don’t stand a chance.

TURNS 31 & 32

I lost my .sals for these two turns and as you’ll find out at the bottom, skimming them won’t screw up this AAR any more than the TOAW engine has already.

These were quiet turns for the most part as I waited, giving rest to much of the front line, for the coming offensive.

I moved the recently arrived 5th Tank Army and 8th Cavalry Corps up to the front line stationed in the river bend south of Petrovo. The 26th Tank Corp and the 1st Tank Corps moved up into position on the road south out of Manolyn. The 26th & 1st ‘s objective is to cut through the line and head toward the Don. I don’t have the forces to link with the southern line but I hope to make it to the Don initially. The 5th & 8th will shoot for Morozovsk in the short term. The 6th Army, which has been very quiet for a number of turns is going to break out south in the direction of Millerovo. The goal is to force Foggy to pull back along a wide section of the front. At that point, my numerical superiority should be able to make it a painful retreat. They always are in TOAW. He’ll lose some as a screening force and then lose more as they are overtaken or turn to delay the Soviet move south.

There is a chance Foggy does not retreat. Given what I know, I think it’s about 60/40 in favor of him trying to hold a really stretched line. I certainly don’t blame him. And I don’t expect him to retreat if I don’t really squash what’s before me.

The south saw Foggy trying to reach Bat’umi in one last-ditch effort to sweep the southwestern quadrant of the map. The 45th Army and several scattered German regiments continued to trade blows. Erevan looks safe for the moment. Turkish intervention was cancelled. So no Turks.

The battle for Baku began but it is obvious that Foggy doesn’t have the force he needs. I am planning to counterattack the southern German thrust during the shock turns in an attempt to destroy some of his force. Perhaps I can simply fake a big push out of Baku and see if he decides to retreat.

Everywhere the Germans are stretched thin.


That’s right. Matt opened turn 33 and the scenario ended. We tried getting around it, going back to previous turns, but it still ended on T33. It must be a bug in the complex events of this scenario as neither Baku nor Rostov was taken. I am sorry that you’ve read this far and do not get to see the end. I can only hope that this will bring more players to a) this scenario and b) Norm’s Operation Art of War.

It is tragic for my AAR. It hangs before the climactic offensive. I am disappointed I could not continue. I think I played a fairly good, if not conservative defensive game through the first 30 turns. I was hoping to make up for my apprehension in the final half by berserking toward Rostov. I do hope this AAR will be helpful to Soviet and German player alike through the first half of the game.

Here are some numbers for the final tally:

[OH = On Hand, meaning replacements that were in the pool but had not yet been distributed.]


Rifle Squads: OH-13k+ Assigned-18k+  Lost-25k+
SMG Squads: OH-9k+ Assigned-12k+  Lost-16k+
T34 Late: OH-196  Assigned-1868  Lost-1122


H. Rifle Squads: OH-187 Assigned-4900+  Lost-13k+
Sdkfz 251/1: OH-507 Assigned-3182  Lost-1060
All Pz IIIs: OH-58  Assigned-500  Lost-500
All Pz IVs: OH-60+  Assigned-450  Lost-440

Final Thoughts:

Even though I didn’t get to finish this scenario, it is the best scenario of its scale and size that I have played. It is certainly the best Stalingrad scenario I have played. But even more, I enjoyed the romp in the Caucasus. Even today, that region is one of the most interesting and complex regions on earth.

Foggy elected to play the ahistorical full German oob. There is a big trade-off in doing so in that Erevan is lost as an automatic victory location. I personally don’t think the trade is worth it. So long as the Germans send something south, they’ll have unit superiority for a long time. The Soviets just have too much ground to cover with too few armies. The first, and only place, they can effectively defend the entire Caucasus front is in the mountain passes. Breaking some of those passes should be objective #1 for any German player. All mountain divisions should be sent south to flank the Soviet defenses. The German player should concentrate on breaking a few of them – not all. A few will compromise all of them, and even if the Soviet player holds the rest, they are worthless real estate so long as they aren’t protecting something vital. My Black Sea Coast Defense was able to hold because the Germans could not break the two passes in their rear. If those hadn’t held, the BSCD would have been surrounded and eliminated.

The Germans have to move quickly to get Stalingrad because with all the Soviet reconstituted units pouring in north of the city, it turns into a meat grinder real quick. And the Soviets have more than enough units to burn. I had to retreat in front of Stalingrad two or three times and each time I quickly assembled a new front.

The Soviet player has to start shipping units overseas to Baku as soon as the Stalingrad front can spare a unit or two each turn. I didn’t ship any reconstituted units, but rather used the one or two fresh divisions that appeared north of the city each turn. You can only ship one RD per turn or one Tank regiment, but if you’re diligent, you can amass a nice sized army in the south. I stood at Baku because I could afford to give up the rest of the Caucasus. Had Erevan been active, this game would have played very differently.

Thanks to Matt for playing his hand and giving me a fun and challenging game. I hope you’ve enjoyed this AAR.

Zachary Hutchinson (aka: Menschenfresser)

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