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Posted on Nov 6, 2004 in Armchair Reading

Braunschweig – An After Action Report

By Zachary Hutchinson

Figure 3-1

[3-1] To me I see two ways to flank the city. One idea is a shallow flank, where his units (circled in blue), move up the east side of the Don and, in essence, peel my units away from the river, freeing much of his force from having to cross the river under fire. The other idea is a deep swing (circled in red). This puts him in behind the city if he can cross the narrow bits of land between the lakes south of Stalingrad. From there he can drive up to the Volga. The problem with the latter of the two is that he’s still a long way from the city, has to cross the river and faces the marshes southeast of it. And that’s not to take into account a possible counter attack from somewhere farther down the Volga that could potentially get in behind such an assualt. It is most certainly true, that as the Germans near the city, the landscape becomes their enemy. I think he’s left far too little to cover the city. His assualt is already stalled in just getting to the river and if I can find significant reserves, I see dangerous potential.

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Grechko (my avatar at WHQ) and his 12th army and Koslov’s 37th are orange-lined this turn…meaning that some of them won’t make it to the mountains as I’d hoped. Germans met my forces guarding the exit from the Kirch straights but didn’t move a thing. Defenses around Taupse and Maykop are forming. A few pieces of artillery arrived at the Terrek Fortress this turn. I’m planning on facing a determined German offensive from the west side over the minor river.

I have yet to mention the German’s big move this turn. It did surprise me, but now that I’ve had time to think about it, I think the units might have been better used.

Figure 3-2

The 22nd Luftlande [3-2] took Astrakhan by air cutting my north to south rail line and my inner rail line to the port at Gurbev. It is an ok move. It frightened me for a while. For now, he’s preventing the single brigade per turn I could ship south, if it were to survive the pestering Luftwaffe that is. I really don’t know what to make of the move just yet. The briefing even says that using the airdrop units to cut the rail line isn’t such a great use of their abilities, but I am confident in my opponent enough to give it to him that he must have a master plan at work. I’ll be happy enough if I can just reopen the line running to the port and hold that. I’ve already begun moving what I can down there to keep him from running wild north of the Volga.

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

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