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Posted on Nov 8, 2004 in Armchair Reading

Braunschweig – An After Action Report Part II

By Zachary Hutchinson

The lower Volga front has stabilized as insufficient forces on both sides stare at each other over the marshlands. I have devilishly been using a Volga flotilla to navigate the river and cut off each unit from the other. It’s nothing more than a headache for Matt and won’t cause much trouble until he decides to launch an attack across the river. 8-2 shows his isolated units.

Figure 8-2

I’ve pulled back from the outer defenses around Taupse as they were just too weak to face 11th army. A few naval brigades and some MP battalions just don’t stand much of a chance against a full German Army. And with Maykop bound to fall soon 4 or 5 German divisions, including 22nd Pz, can easily outflank the Taupse.


The passes are looking strong and Makhachkala is looking tougher with each turn. I’ve started to hold back some reinforcements appearing in Baku to begin forming a defensive half circle, which will encompass both the peninsula and the road leading south around the Caspian. I hope it won’t come to this, but unless the Germans are halted in the passes or I am able to mount a significant counter attack at Stalingrad, it probably will. God, and I haven’t even thought about the Turks yet.


Figure 9-1

Bad news broke this turn, but I’ll start with Taupse. 9-1 is a glimpse of the situation. He’s thrown back the NKVD unit I had stationed at the rail/road junction north of the city. I expect the Germans to hit my defenses next turn and cut through them like butter. Repeated counter attacks by a, now evaporated, Naval regiment mauled the German regiment just north of the peak situated in the center of the picture. I’ve come to the conclusion, and it took me 6 turns to realize this, but the Germans aren’t invincible. If a German unit cuts through your lines, counter attack it. Any time you have a flank attack, counter attack. The Soviets have plenty of fresh rifle squads ready to take their place. The Germans are constantly losing more airplanes than I am. And Matt’s loss penalty is higher as well — 237 to 48.

Figure 9-2

9-2 shows the bad news. This is an end of turn shot, but it is of the same area as 8-1. My line didn’t hold. I realized it wouldn’t after I had constructed it last turn. It was too sharp of an angle running down the Don. The lt blue shows where it was last turn and the pink is where it is this turn (or will be east of the lakes). Again more units were sacrificed in pulling back a second time in two turns, but not so many as to make me overly worried. If a counter attack is going to work, I have to have as few units defending as possible.

German units have crossed the Terek but not in such force as to call it a break through. That will happen next turn. I keep writing to Matt and referring to it as my fortress, but that’s a hollow jest, being manned by Engineers, NKVD, armored trains, MP, cavalry elements and in some places RR engineers. There are a few divisions, which I kept back until I saw where his punch would land, but three division spread out over 180 kilometers…well, you see my point. Sure I could have railroaded more to the fortress had the line not been cut by the 22nd Luftlande. More can still be railed in from Baku, but even had I sent a maximum effort to my ‘fortress’ I doubt it would even be twice the strength it is now. The Germans have to go through Grozny to get to Mackhachkala, so eventually any good player would storm this area. I suppose unless they were heading for Erevan, but then, if there’s no real threat, why spend the manpower to secure it.

(To read part three in the series, click here).

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