GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Mon May 15, 2017 5:59 pm

I finally decided to make an AAR of an ongoing PBEM GS 4.0 game I'm currently playing with Plaid so here we go.

Plaid will be able to read and comment this AAR from the very first turn since this game will have much of testing and familiarising with the many new things added to the game. Definitive GS 4.0 version is currently being throughly tested in the beta group.

Polish campign

Slight change in Poland 1939 OOB has had its effects and so, now the 1-turn conquest of Poland by Germany is a hard thing to accomplish. Not saying that it's impossible, just that it's way harder.

I didn't even try to get Poland in 1 turn. Instead, I focused on minimising the losses and clearing the way to Warsaw:

Image

Later, in Allies turn, Polish army cavalry in Poznan launched a successful counterattack that scored a 4:1 vs German II AK (located 2xNE of that city). Around Warsaw, intense defensive preparations were made.

In Axis turn 2, Germans cleared of Polish units the approaches to Warsaw and entered the city without excessive problems.
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GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Tue May 16, 2017 4:17 pm

Battle of the Atlantic

Kriegsmarine subs started early to attack convoys. Northern convoy has been attacked twice in 1939 or, in other words, 2 northern convoys have spawned in 1939 and both have been attacked.

U-boats will have convoys as their priority, avoiding if possible engaging with Allied escorts.

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Post by Vokt » Thu May 18, 2017 9:41 pm

Battle for France

Fair weather arrived in March 1940. Germany started invasion of Belgium and Holland. Brussels was taken but Hague held at low strength. XVI PzK entered French territory via Luxembourg:

Shot before Wehrmacht attack:
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And after:
Image
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GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Sat May 20, 2017 12:04 pm

April 8, 1940. Germans attacked the thinly defended Lille sector, seizing the city. Some attacks in the Oise river either. Holland finally fell:

Image
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GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Sun May 21, 2017 5:47 pm

May 18, 1940. German army pressure along the Oise river gave finally its results and so Reims was taken and the Seine E of Paris was reached. On the other bank of the Seine, French army mobile forces (1e Armee) were partially supressed by the action of Luftwaffe. Good progress in Lorraine sector either, Maginot Line French units losing main supply:

Image
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Post by Vokt » Tue May 23, 2017 9:52 pm

June 27, 1940. After a couple of turns, Allies right flank has been wiped out, Germans gaining complete access to Paris from the SE. Operations were also tried on the left flank but there it was found heavy Allied resistance which quickly removed a bridgehead formed NW of Paris. French capital has been already attacked but holds for now:

Image
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GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Sat May 27, 2017 11:19 am

July 17, 1940. Germans enter Paris and BEF makes it to English Channel ports:

Image
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GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Sun May 28, 2017 10:12 pm

The Blitz

Luftwaffe started its strategic campaign against UK just immediately after the French armistice was accepted. With 2 available strategic bomber units, London was left with no PP's in a matter of 3 turns. Air combats were even or slightly favouring Luftwaffe.

Air campaign didn't stop all along the rest of 1940, except for a turn and because of the bad weather (mud).

London stood at 0-1 PP's during all the first half of 1941. Lately, air combats were being won by RAF.

Barbarossa air forces requirements made this air campaign to sharply come to an end.

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Post by Vokt » Wed May 31, 2017 8:49 pm

Battle of the Atlantic (1940-1941)

German u-boats have been steadily attacking and ambushing convoys throughout 1940. Effectiveness of sub attacks reached its peak on the 2nd half of that year when a 4th submarine unit was available. It would have to mention that subs moved well, skillfully calculating the expected arrival in time and location of the 3 convoys. Also, they were lucky when laying ambushes which allowed several times to completely sunk the convoy.

First half of 1941 was very similar in results to that of 1940. German subs, during several turns, found the convoys completely unescorted, probably indicating RN DD's being busy escorting transported land and air units for the MTO. On the second half of 1941, when those DD's came back to their escorting convoys duties, convoy attacking effectiveness was significantly reduced.

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Post by Vokt » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:21 pm

MTO (1940-1941)

Axis offensive operations in this scenario commenced in Yugoslavia which was DOWed on August 1940. Weather helped and referred country surrendered in 2 turns with low losses on the Germans. Italians, attacking from Trieste, suffered comparatively higher losses.

Just immediately after the fall of Yugoslavia, Luftwaffe and Reggia Aeronautica started an air campaign in Malta, attacking British fighter unit there. In the long run (fighting lasted for quite a while), RAF had higher losses but it was tactical victory for the Brits here since the Axis didn't succeed in forcing Allied air unit to be withdrawn to Egypt.

Libya stood inactive for all 1940 and good deal of 1941. British and Commonwealth forces didn't start to approach Tobruk until well into the Summer of 1941. New supply rules in Africa made Allied advance not that fast as before, game gaining in realism here. Even more, in order to outflank Tobruk Allies have now to spend 1 turn if Gazala (supply depot) is garrisoned as in this game was. So when Brits got rid of Italian garrison in Gazala, some units started to advance through the coastal hexes to Derna whilst others started to besiege the city-fortress. Couple of units (Australian and Indian corps), though, got into the desert. It would be those Commonwealth units the object of the first Axis counterattack on this scenario.

Italian army has been building up forces south of Bengazhi, around Ajedabia. Italians chose the safer Tripoli route for bringing in reinforcements, but DAK (mech with Rommel commander attached) was transported to Africa via Bengazhi previous the corresponding Italian DD sweeping move.

Shot below shows dispositions of forces after the Axis counterattack launched by DAK (in the image XXXIV AK) and Italian mech, that killed Indian corps 2xSW of Gazala and halved Australian corps:

Image


Axis counter offensive action made RN Mediterranean fleet to come in strength in support of the land forces. This way, British BB units likely helped in the seizure of Tobruk, objective that was accomplished. Derna also finally fell into Allied hands. Attacking Axis mechs were rather heavily engaged by 2 British units, X armoured and XIII motorised, offensive action that must have been strongly supported by RAF:

Image

Shots are taken in 1941 last turn (turn 43).
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GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:16 pm

Operation Barbarossa (May 1941-December 1941)

Invasion of USSR started in May 1941, turn 32.

These were Axis dispositions previous to the invasion:

Image

Wehrmacht progress in Baltic Countries, Belarus and in Smolensk-Bryansk sector went largely unopposed. Things were completely different in the southern front where Soviet resistance was rather stiff due to the numerous fortified positions held by the Red Army. Couple of panzerkorps units that started 3xS of Lublin got somewhat stalled in front of the referred Stalin Line fortifications.

So apart from the hard fighting in order to clear of Soviet units the southern front, the only real fighting with the Red Army, involving some give and take, occurred in Leningrad-Novgorod sector. Both Germans and Soviet fought bitterly here and the result of the battle was inconclusive with continuous retreats and counterattacks.

Fair weather lasted until October 1941 which allowed German mobile units to complete their operations in the Donets in time, the cities of Rostov and Voroshilovgrad signalling the easternmost Axis advance.

Severe winter came early in the second November 1941 turn. Red Army wasted no time in starting its attacks. Sector chosen for the attacks were SE of Novgorod and 3xNE of Bryansk. Anyway, Soviet offensive achieved little against the well entrenched German units in those sectors. Strong Luftwaffe opposition also counted.

These were positions reached after the first mentioned Soviet attacks and the corresponding repairs of attacked German units were made (December 19, 1941, turn 43):

Image
Image
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Post by Vokt » Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:42 pm

MTO (1942)

Turn 44. January 8, 1942. The heavy fighting in the desert with which 1941 ended, continued in the new year. Italian armoured joined the battle and, helped by good Reggia Aeronautica hits, attacked and severely mauled British XIII motorised corps that was finished off by German DAK. Additional Italian unit (10 Corpo) was moved to the battle zone either whilst reinforcements (1 Corpo) were finally unloaded in Bengazhi without problems:

Image


Ending the job in time in Tobruk, allowed the Brits to have more available units for the heavy battle going on SW of Gazala. This way, a second armoured unit joined and so the New Zealand corps. British attacks destroyed the DAK and the Italian mech, halved Italian 10 Corpo (which was forced to retreat) and destroyed the battered Italian garrison in the coast. At sea, a spying Italian sub was discovered and hit rather hard:

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Turn 45. January 28, 1942. Italian armoured, untouched by last British offensive actions, sought for some retaliation. Weakened British III armoured seemed like a good target. With support from Reggia Aeronautica (that increased its strength with a 2nd tac) it could be possible to even destroy it. The fact is that Italian air units this time performed rather poorly and only got the armoured to be suppressed. That's why when the attack by Italian tanks came, British III armoured was able not only to survive but to also hold the position. Only a further attack by Italian 10 Corpo made the battered Allied armoured unit to retreat. At sea, important things also happened. Reggia Marina came in full force to waters NW of Tobruk, sinking Australian DD, attacking carrier and British DD (11 Sqn):

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In Allies turn, British finally got heavily engaged Italian armoured unit. Italian 10 Corpo was attacked either and, again, it was forced to retreat. Battered British III armoured was moved east far from the spotting range of the Italians. At sea, the naval battle raged and so, RN sunk Italian DD (3rd Flotilla) and halved Italian BB:

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Turn 46. February 17, 1942. Italian 1 and 10 Corpo withdrew to Ajedabia whilst Italian armoured stood. Italian navy also withdrew to ports. Naval battle, thus, ended on a stalemate.

In the following turns, Brits made a long pause on its operations. In fact, they didn't resume their advance until May 8, 1942, (turn 50) when they started investing Bengazhi, just 1 turn after an early Torch that had been launched the turn immediately before. Bengazhi and later, El Agheila, offered little resistance to the advancing British forces.

Torch was an only-American thing that probably because of the still strong Italian navy, focused its landing operations on Morocco and Oran, not daring to take Algiers. DAK that had been reconstituted after being destroyed in Libya, was already in Tunis when the Americans landed. Italian 15 Corpo had been sent also as a reinforcement directly to Algiers. US II and IV Corps (moto and mech, respectively) had been the units landing at Oran, and in a couple of turns they had Algiers at range.

Axis efforts in keeping Algiers were demonstrated first in a counterattack by 15 Corpo launched on July 7, 1942 (turn 53). Italian unit was later routed by the Americans in Allies turn:

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July 27, 1942 (turn 54). This was the chance for Rommel's DAK unit (in the image as XLIII AK) that, with unopposed Axis air support, destroyed US mech in a counterattack. Battered Italian corps was moved to Constantine for refitting:

Image

Axis offensive actions in Algiers made US II Corps unit to retreat and to wait for the rest of US and Free France units slowly advancing from Morocco. But the pause lasted little and once Americans regrouped their units and brought good air support, it was end of the game for the Axis in Algiers. Accordingly, DAK unit was evacuated to Marseilles port. Italian 15 Corpo, on the contrary, stood in Africa and ended in Tunis.

Anyway, and due to heavy Axis resistance in Mareth, Allies weren't able to clear Africa of Axis units until the Winter of 1943.

Meanwhile, Italian navy, that had been in ports for a long time, didn't go into action until well into the Summer. It wasn't a lucky naval attack at all since 1 Italian BB fell into an ambush and the rest of attacking units (2 DD's and 3 subs) didn't succeed in sinking any Allied naval unit (US BB and UK BB were the targets). Both the ambushed BB and the attacking DD'S were later sunk in the subsequent Allied naval reply. It was also end of the game for Axis at sea in this scenario.
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Post by Vokt » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:07 pm

Eastern Front (1942)

As mentioned, Red Army achieved little on the first rounds of the 1941-42 Winter offensive. Only in the new year, January 8, 1942 (turn 44), first successes came. On that date, Soviets finally pushed hard in the central sector of the front and destroyed 2 German units (1 mech and 1 moto) south of Kaluga. This way, 38th and 22nd Soviet armies, crossed the Ugra river and formed a 2-hexes bridgehead on its southern bank:

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Turn 45. January 28, 1942. Germans promptly reacted to this Soviet offensive action and, with wide air support, mounted counterattack that greatly mauled Soviet 38th Army:

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Both sides offensive efforts seemed to be focused on the Ugra river battles and so, Soviets, after withdrawing their battered 38th Army, kept on the pressure. This time, German LI AK was heavily attacked by 3 Soviet corps units that battered it and forced its withdrawal. 44th Soviet Army crossed the Ugra river either, thus expanding the bridgehead:

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Turn 46. February 17, 1942. Germans, again heavily relying on their air force, mounted a successful counterattack that destroyed Soviet 44th Army, thus removing the recently formed bridgehead. Battered corps was withdrawn to Bryansk for refitting:

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Later, in Allies turn. Red Army made no further attacks.

Soon, mud weather turns came so 1st Winter offensive was over. The Axis had passed this Winter offensive with no major problems and it was time to prepare for the Summer 1942 offensives.

Germans planned for 1942 to resume their offensive operations in the Leningrad-Novgorod front. A campaign for taking the Crimea would be also carried out.

That way, soon attacks and counterattacks again raged in the forested area S-SW of Leningrad-Novgorod, starting on May 8, 1942 (turn 50). Germans steadily gained ground from the Soviets but they never threatened Novgorod, let alone Leningrad. Soviet opposition was fierce and air warfare intense. Only the Finns brought some sort of success for the Axis in this sector when they took Vyborg from the Soviets in the first rounds of the Axis offensive. Later, the Finns decided that the best way to help the Germans in Leningrad was by launching an offensive in Karelia that they started in July:

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In Crimea, Axis campaign expectedly saw success and I say expectedly because Red Army (mostly garrisons) had little chance here against the xp Manstein panzerkorps that led the operations: Sevastopol fell in July and Kerch in September.

In Karelia, Soviets readily reacted and opposed Finnish army onslaught. In couple of turns, Finns offensive stalled.

Below, shots of Eastern Front as of September 25, 1942 (turn 57):

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Image


Bad weather came back early in October. This didn't stop the Axis from attempting to finally surrender Odessa. City fell in November after vicious fighting.

Severe Winter started in December 14, 1942 (turn 61). Red Army attacked German units in Rzhev sector, battering couple of German units. Finns in Karelia were also attacked.

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Post by Vokt » Sun Jul 02, 2017 5:26 pm

Battle of the Atlantic (1942)

German subs discontinously got Allied convoys attacked. Sometimes due to the convoys being strongly escorted there even wasn't a fair chance at all to attack them.

Anyway, the most attacked convoy was the Soviet one as North Atlantic was the main area of operations of German subs.

Things changed in late year when Kriegsmarine surface fleet, daring to cross English Channel, successfully made it to French Atlantic ports. Plan was to sink as many escorts as possible in close cooperation with the u-boats.

Opportunity arose in September when it was spotted a central convoy US Navy escorting group that ended its movement within the attacking range of the German BB's. Kriegsmarine went into action and, as a result, 1 of the US DD's was sunk and the convoy itself was torpedoed. Further north, NW of Ireland, a u-boats wolf pack attacked and sunk a British DD:

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Allies reply was quite effective and they got sunk both German BB's although DD units had to participate in the naval attacks against capital ships. So, an US DD that had ended halved after attacking one of the German BB's was sunk by German subs in the subsequent Axis turn. Result of the naval battle could be then deemed as a stalemate (2 BB's vs 3 DD's) until, in the Allies reply, Allied strategic bombers with ASW upgrades succeeded to sink 1 German sub and to deplete another one.

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Post by Vokt » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:01 pm

MTO (1943)

As mentioned, Allies had a hard time clearing the way to Tunis mostly due to heavy Axis resistance in Mareth. In January 3, 1943 (turn 62), the city-fortress was still in Axis hands:

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Italian 15 Corpo (infantry unit close to Tunis) succeeded in reaching Tunisia but was constantly harassed by Allied air forces. Chances of referred unit of making it safely to Italy mainland were rather slim.

Meanwhile the build up of forces in Sicily have continued slowly but steadily. Rommel's mech, that had been previously evacuated from Algiers port to Marseilles, was railed to Reggio in order to possibly reinforce Axis defensive positions in the island.

Americans finally entered Tunis, thus ending all Axis presence in Africa in February 12, 1943, turn 64.

At sea, early 1943 saw some rather heavy naval battles. Italians, still possessed 2 BB's, 1 DD and 3 subs by the start of the year which, with the support of Reggia Aeronautica could be able to inflict some damage to Allied navy. This way, Italian navy went again into attack in February and, with some air support, succeeded to sink a RN DD. Later, in Allies turn, combined Allied fleet, in return, was able to sink 1 BB, 1 DD and 1 sub. Then, in the subsequent Axis turn, in March, remaining Italian navy units managed to sink a halved British BB. Finally, Allies reply meant to sink the remaining Italian BB and to batter the subs with their air forces. Allies had sunk 2 BB's, 1 DD and 1 sub and Italians had sunk 1 BB and 1 DD. Allies had got naval supremacy in the Med.

This naval supremacy allowed the Allies to conduct their amphibious operations in Sardinia, Sicily and southern Italy unmolested. Only Italian tacs were able to deliver some damage to the approaching transports.

Allied landings in Sardinia started almost immediately after the end of African campaign. Very little resistance from the Italians here, since in couple of turns, Cagliari was taken.

Sicily offered more resistance but no Allied unit was lost in the campaign. Italian counterattacks, at most, managed to halve some attacking Allied unit but the Axis, lacking heavy units deployed in the island (Rommel's mech finally stood in Italy mainland), couldn't expect much more.

Once Allies got ashore in Sicily (April 13, turn 67), many Allied naval transports units were also sent for large amphibious operations all along southern Italy coasts. Allies intended to carry out a blitzkrieg campaign in southern Italy, thus giving no time to the Germans to organise their defences. In fact, Taranto fell to the Allies in the same turn that Messina did, this triggering Italian surrender on July 2 1943, turn 71.

Germans took seriously Allies threat in Italy and reacted accordingly. A relatively stable Eastern Front allowed to rebase several fighter and tactical bomber Luftwaffe units from Ukraine to northern Italy and Yugoslavia. Of course, southern Italy had been already gave up and nothing could be done about it, but given the powerful forces that Allies already had in Italy, it was vital for the Axis to stop them at the Gustav Line.

Newly built corps units were promptly railed to Italy from Berlin and even the Bulgarian army was called to help the Germans. When enough units were gathered in central Italy, Wehrmacht launched some counterattacks. In one of them, south of Naples, a FF corps unit was killed. Allies in return killed 1 of the 2 Bulgarian corps sent to Italy, took Foggia and were about to breach Gustav Line when British X armoured Corps launched a powerful thrust through the Adriatic sea coast. German corps holding at very low strength in the northernmost fort hex of Gustav Line, proved decisive since in the following Axis turn, Germans achieved great success: thanks to crushing hits from Luftwaffe tacs, Hoepner HQ LV AK (which coming from Rome replaced depleted German corps in the fort) in collaboration with Bulgarian corps, killed British X armoured Corps, Axis minor unit even retaking Foggia. Vigorous Luftwaffe reaction had saved the day for the Germans in Italy.

In the following Allies turn, Foggia was again taken and Bulgarian corps killed. US III motorised Corps advanced close to Gustav Line but this move proved not to be a good one since this Allied unit was low in morale and completely within the striking range of the xp Luftwaffe tacs in northern Italy:

Image

That shot corresponds to the end of Allies turn 74, August 31, 1943.

Then it came Axis reply: US motorised got so badly damaged due to Luftwaffe tacs hits that Hoepner's LV AK was able to finish it off. Germans, thanks to Luftwaffe, had passed from the possibility to be overrun in Italy to strongly consolidate their positions.

It took several turns for the Allies to regroup their units. In the meantime, Germans brought plenty of units to central Italy, paratrroper division and mountain corps amongst them. Offensive activity from the Allies only resumed in late October (turn 77), when they started attacking Naples. On the first round, they halved in strength the defending German LXI AK. Shot below shows the front line situation at the end of the Axis turn 78 (November 19, 1943) and once LXI AK in Naples was repaired:

Image

Anyway, Naples offered little resistance and the city fell to the Allies before the year ended.

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Post by Vokt » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:18 pm

Eastern Front (1943)

January 3, 1943. Allies turn 62. Attacks made by the Soviets in December 1942 (severe Winter started by that date) had already weakened German defensive positions in Rzhev sector. New year brought renewed attacks and a breakthrough in referred sector of the front line:

Image


3rd Guards Army took Rzhev and even attacked and forced to retreat XLV AK. Previously, 2nd Guards and 3rd Tank Guards armies, have succeeded to destroy the German corps defending the city thus clearing the way for the 3rd Guards unit. Attack counted with wide air support from VVS.

Rzhev wasn't the only sector in which Red Army launched attacks. SW of Kaluga there was intense offensive action that meant the killing of a German corps 2xSW of mentioned city. Nearby I GK was also attacked and left depleted. Finally, 2xSW of Novgorod, Soviet 12th Shock and 2nd Guards Tank armies attacked and halved in strength II AK.


January 23, 1943 (turn 63). Germans promptly reacted to the Soviet onslaught in Rzhev, retaking the city and massively attacking 3rd Guards Army that, as a result, ended depleted and unsupplied. This action was accompanied by some air support from Luftwaffe. The rest of the front stood inactive:

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Image

Later, in Allies turn 63, Soviets retook Rzhev and killed German weakened mountain corps SW of Kaluga.


February 12, 1943 (turn 64). Germans finished off Soviet 3rd Guards Army. In Allies turn, Red Army kept on the attack S of Kaluga, destroying another German corps.


March 4, 1943 (turn 65). Germans this time replied in Kaluga sector killing a Soviet corps. In Allies turn, Soviets made no counterattacks.


Then, it came 2 consecutive mud weather turns with no action at all.


May 3, 1943 (turn 68). With Luftwaffe at full strength, Germans resumed offensive operations. First, Wehrmacht invested Rzhev, which was defended by Soviet paratroopers: city fell for a third time into Axis hands. SW of Novgorod, 2nd Tank Guards Army suffered an onslaught with heavy air support. Elite armoured barely survived. There were many air combats and Luftwaffe direct attacks to VVS fighter air bases. Germany still possessed air superiority in the east.


May 23, 1943 (turn 69). German offensive actions shifted to Kaluga sector. There, couple of Soviet units were killed, thus dramatically reducing Soviet bridgehead in the southern bank of the Ugra river.


In the following turns, Germany finally succeeded to regain all hexes S of Ugra river, thus removing Soviet bridgehead.


July saw a temporary stop in land offensive operations. Luftwaffe bombers carried out a strategic campaign vs Leningrad and Moscow that much lowered their respective PP's. Furthermore, VVS opposing fighters were also attacked on their air bases.


August 11, 1943 (turn 73). Red Army finally started its own offensive. Sector chosen was the Donets, NE of Rostov. 2 Romanian corps units suffered badly when attacked by much powerful Soviet units. Anyway, Romanians, hardened after having sieged several cities and spots, fared well and held the position:

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Image


August 31, 1943 (turn 74). This time, Romanian units were overrun by the Soviets that formed a 2-hexes bridgehead on the western bank of the Donets.


September 20, 1943 (turn 75). Germans decided that the Red Army offensive was serious enough to be contested and thus launched a counterattack that removed one of the hexes of the bridgehead by killing Soviet corps 1xNE of Rostov. Adjacent Soviet mech unit was also attacked but survived at very low strength:

Image

Later, in Allies turn, Soviets killed German IX AK, this leaving things as the turn before, that is, with a 2-hexes bridgehead NE of Rostov.


In the following turns, Axis forces continued to contest Soviet assaulting forces but now without the Luftwaffe supporting tacs (which have been redeployed to Italy vs Western Allies), things would become harder in Rostov sector. When Winter weather came (still normal Winter), Red Army finally broke through Axis lines:

Image

Rostov and Voroshilovgrad fell to the Soviets in December. As a result, a number of Axis units were destroyed or battered in that sector.

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Post by Vokt » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:09 pm

Western Front (1943)

Although right in 1942 Allied strategic bombers started doing some attacks to targets in France and Germany, air offensive against German cities and resources only got serious in early 1943. Luftwaffe had deployed permanently at the start of the year, 2-3 fighter units located in Berlin and Eastern Germany air bases just to avoid being lured by Allied fighters.

In April, came the first big Allied strategic attack targeting Hamburg and Berlin itself. Bombers found heavy fighter opposition from German fighters and suffered rather high losses.

Strong German fighter opposition kept the Allies from trying again vs German capitals for a while. But, in Summer, when Luftwaffe fighters defending Germany were redeployed to other fronts, Allies bombed again encountering no fighters. Berlin was halved in PP's and the most that it could be done is to put air units on sentry mode in both capitals.

Due to the increasing damage of strategic bombings, rail capability got significantly reduced thus affecting to antipartisans operations elsewhere (not enough railing points for covering all the threatened spots both in Western Europe and in USSR). This later proved decisive since the intense French partisan activity couldn't be dealt with adequately and so this encouraged Western Allies to try an Overlord '43.

That way, Rennes fell to the partisans in August, wnich paved thw way for a paratrooper dropping made over the city itself. An additional paratrooper unit was dropped and then, it came the seaborne landings both in Britanny and Normandy which went completely uncontested.

Allies buildup in NW France went rather slow. Bad weather came early in the 2nd October turn and by then they had been able to capture only 1 sea port (Cherbourg). It seemed that the buildup would continue to be slow (only 1 unit per turn since Brest was holding stubbornly) until fair weather would arrive in March 1944.

But Allies got luck and, in November, they enjoyed a fair weather turn which allowed them to unload lots of units waiting on the shores:

Image

That shot is from turn 78, November 19, 1943, and after corresponding Axis moves that consisted mainly in railing of units like LXIV AK which was railed to Nantes. Rommel mech (XLIII AK) had been deployed in Vichy several turns ago as a counterattacking reserve force. Luftwaffe fighters coming from some other scenarios were being progressively rebased to France. In the Spring of 1944, Germany was going to try a major offensive against the Allies lodgement in NW France.

Vokt
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GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:19 pm

Battle of the Atlantic (1943)

1942 ended with Kriegsmarine surface fleet very much reduced on its strength after the sinking of the 2 German BB's.

In 1943, German subs attacks were almost completely focused on Soviet convoy. Except for only 1 attack to British convoy, u-boats attacked and ambushed numerous times the Soviet convoy causing considerable loss in PP's. This was all intended since Luftwaffe have started a strategic campaign in Summer 1943 in Russia, with Moscow and Leningrad as main targets. Goal was to diminish as much as possible USSR income.

Attacks continued all Summer long but the effectiveness of Allied ASW operations (thanks to upgrades) started to be noted turn after turn, German subs losing considerable steps of strength after being bombed by Allied strategic bombers. Then, it came the first sinkings of German subs due to only air strikes and so by late year, the strength of German submarine force was rather negligible. Even German DD that joined the subs in attacking convoys ended sunk either.

Battle of Atlantic was over.

Vokt
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GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:32 pm

Luftwaffe strategic campaign in Russia (1943)

Aimed at reducing VVS strength and USSR income, Luftwaffe started strategic campaign in Russia in May 1943. Leningrad was first bombed and soon it followed Moscow. Both cities ended with low PP's by August. These actions were accompanied by Luftwaffe fighters direct attacks to the opposing Soviet fighters, which in some occasions caused Allied air units to end depleted.

This campaign stopped sharply when many Luftwaffe fighter units were rebased to MTO to face Allied landings in Italy.

Vokt
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GS 4.00 AAR Vokt (Axis) vs Plaid (Allies)

Post by Vokt » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:34 pm

Western Front (1944)

Buildup of Wehrmacht forces in France for the big offensive against the Allies lodgement in the NW of the country started right in Autumn 1943. First, HQ panzerkorps and mech units (Guderian, Manstein and Kleist) had been little by little redeployed from the Eastern front NW of Dijon, far from the spotting range of Allied air units. Then, it came the deployment of forces along the Loire: Dietrich's HQ VIII SS mech and Rommel's XLIII AK were the main offensive assets in this sector.

Plans were to attack in March when all the units would have been fully ready and fair weather guaranteed. But in February 7, 1944 (turn 82) weather was fair and so attack had to be launched if the surprise factor wanted to be maintained. In the first turn of the offensive, Germans killed US IV armoured corps in the Loire and 101st Airborne division near Paris. Several other Allied land units were damaged. Not less important was the damage delivered to air units in the UK, that barely survived ferocious attacks from the experienced and upgraded Luftwaffe fighters:

Image

In the following turns (weather turned to Winter in turn 83), a give and take started and both sides took high losses in land units destroyed and in air units depleted. Axis oil levels dramatically dropped and of the strong Luftwaffe fighter force that started the offensive, only a couple of units were able to provide air cover for the tacs.

What at first seemed like a potential big German success, turned into an Allied tactical victory. Offensive potential of the Western Allies was much weakened (with, among others, 3 US armoured units destroyed) but Germany lost irreplaceable good and xp units which would have been of much use in late game.

That way, after the corresponding clearing of Wehrmacht units, Allies entered Paris in August 5, 1944 (turn 91). Brussels was liberated 2 turns later in September. Antwerp offered more resistance and didn't surrender until November 13, 1944 (turn 96):

Image

In that shot (taken at the end of Axis turn 96), you can see that by that date, Soviets were already at the Oder. The fact is that Western Allies from then on did well, totally overrunning the weak German defensive positions around Arhem. In December 23, 1944 (turn 98), a German counterattack with the last remaining Luftwaffe air support killed a US mech 1xSE of Arhem but it achieved nothing in order to stop the Allies. By the start of the 1945, the Allies have almost liberated Holland and entered Germany itself, taking Scholven synthetic oil plant, this outflanking Wehrmacht positions along the Siegfried Line.

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