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Posted on Nov 14, 2004 in Armchair Reading

Braunschweig – An After Action Report Part III

By Zachary Hutchinson

The 271st RD at Khasavyurt made contact with a mixed bag of German recon. He’s flanking the 271st to the north and south [13-2].

Figure 13-2

North end of the map‧several German regiments are forcing their way through the lake area, playing tag with two expendable Soviet brigades south of Dagan Nur. This brings up an interesting part of the front. The Volga, between Stalingrad and Astrakhan is a wide-open unguarded section of land. The Germans don’t seem to have much south of Mal Derbety other than the previously mentioned units. Since I’m not sending reinforcements down here, I’ve pulled back what little I had here to form a line between Zaza and Solodniki. I’m not sure if this is a smart move. Some exploratory German Cavalry has reached the Volga crossing at Aktubinsk where I have two tank brigades and two and a half divisions as a mobile guard for practically all of the Volga. I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around the space here. It’s very un-TOAW to have a common border so near to major operations totally unguarded.

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Seraphimovich is lost and the 21st Army is safely on the northern bank. More units pour into this area. Partly because I fear that Foggy might continue the attack over the upper Don while my units are still in pour shape. These reconstitutes pouring into the area are out of supply. While they have their authorized number of rifle squads, they are about half strength in all other/heavier equipment.

The Germans and Romanians are face to face with my final Stalingrad defense before it degrades into actual house-to-house fighting, but I expect a turn of two of moderate rest. I’m sure Foggy is still aware that he has time before I can counterattack, so a turn or two of rest won’t lose him much. Even though Stalingrad bequeaths to its owner a host of points, it still seems to me hardly worth all the work that is necessary in taking it. It is here that the Germans seem to lose the most men.

TURN 14

A rather dull turn. I watched as the Germans at Seraphimovich turned away from the bridge content with having beaten the 21st back across the Don. Stalingrad was relatively quiet. The Germans haven’t reached any of the passes, Mackhachkala or the Black Sea Defense in any strength. Dig in and wait.

Figure 14-1

14-1 shows the present Stalingrad front. As you can see, where the two German cavalry units are, I’ve formed up what is essentially a rear flank against an enemy that isn’t there. I hesitate to call it my southern flank, because really, that’s at the bottom of the shot across from the Romanians in blue. You can see that the bulk of the spotted German force is right in front of the city’s fortified rings. I kind of like this, because I can see Foggy pushing hard into Stalingrad while leaving the southern bulge exposed and weak. Problem is, I have no plans for a southern prong. I don’t have the units for it right now and I am eager to get something on the drawing board. I just don’t like how fast he’s moving toward Baku. If Mackhachkala, the mountains and the Black Sea Defense can hold him for 5 turns I’ll feel better, but I can’t count on it.

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

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