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1941 Barbarossa - AAR!


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Hi,

In anticipation for the upcoming release of Assault on Communism, two of our beta testers are going to be providing us with an action packed refight of the 1941 German invasion of the Soviet Union!

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Michael Kollmann aka Hyazinth von Strachwitz will command the defense of the Soviet Forces while his opponent Jörg Frundsberg of the SI Games Forums will be in charge of the German assault.

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Michael will post the Soviet turns here while the German turns, in fact the full AAR, can be followed in German at the SI Games Forums found here:

http://www.si-games.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25683&page=4&p=870526#post870526

If there are any questions regarding the German turns, Michael has also offered to answer them not withstanding any operational secrecy that may prevent him from knowing the answers [:)]

Will the German assault be successful and perhaps reach Moscow before the Winter of 41? Or will the Soviet defenders heroically withstand the invasion at tremendous losses only to push the Germans back out just as in real life?

Stay tuned!

Hubert

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Welcome to the Great Patriotic War AAR!

As I received the first turn from my opponent, the honorable Jörg Frundsberg, I watched the replay, and it way not funny to see. The Wehrmacht marches on Russian soil, and a lot of comrades gave their lives.

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The German Panzers seem invincible, and most of our units are destroyed without even fighting back. Our own Tank Corps are lame ducks, and they get blown into pieces by German infantry. Here comes an overview after just a few days:

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Those forces who were close to the border are destroyed, and my concept is to establish defense lines at certain points where the terrain suits. I made a test run versus the AI, and there are a couple of important points were a good fight can be setup. Of course I will not yet mention were these points are... our enemies could read it.

Not to forget, I get a few recommendations from a really wise person:

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In my next post I will show some examples of what i have in mind.

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At the moment, there is not much choice. When I start to attack German units, my own units get damaged, but the Wehrmacht does not. No good choice. So I need to reinforce damaged units, try to let the terrain help me and evacute precious units... and maybe try to locate isolated Axis units.

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Around Kaunas, a first defensive line is established. Pretty sure it will not hold for long.

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In Galicia, our troops start a local offensive. Apparantly this is were the Brusilov Offensive occured exactly 25 years ago, and this will teach the Wehrmacht not to underestimate the lethality of the Red Army.

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In the south, there are few of our troops. But fortunately our Secret Services inform us that a lot of the troops in the South are Romanians, and they do not have the same quality as the Wehrmacht.

You wonder what the Wehrmacht is doing? Feel free to watch the German side here:

http://www.si-games.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25683&page=6&p=871113#post871113

The text is unfortunately just in German, but the pictures will be understandable for everyone!

If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!

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I get a lot of reinforcements... these are barely needed at the frontline.

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And of course there is a bit of fighting as well:

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My provisional frontline at Kaunus stopped the Wehrmacht for a turn... maybe it holds another turn.

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In Galicia, a Romanian Corps bites the dust. The first Axis casualty of the war, but for sure not the last.

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In the south, there is not much progress. I think Jörg is upgrading his Romanian forces to Infantry Warfare Level 1 after he noticed that the Romanians are vulnerable.

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Some suggestions here, for improvments not to critizise,

- The pop up talks about t-34 and kv-1:s. Infact the reason the soviet union quickly abolished the seperate tank formations in 1941 was due to the problem they had operating them. Not that t-34:s would be needed but rather that the mech corps was too huge formations. They were extremly powerful formations, the inexperienced crews and leadership of the red army could not handle them. It would take until mid 42 before the tank armies emerged.

- Also with what I see in Lithuania and Latvia needs to be considered. Historically it was a rout, Manstein crossed the Dvina immediately, Riga fell and the russians never could mount some serious opposition except locally. The Northwestern Front melted away. From what I see, german struggle even to advance on Riga on time.

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7th of July 1941

The German advance slows down, but our losses are still very high.

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At least our losses get less and less each turn.

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Mr. Stalin is very precise in his Orders.

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The Fortress Kaunas still holds, but it will be the last turn for sure.

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In the south, the German advance slows down. Some units draw back for reinforcements and upgrade.. but they will come back and give it a second try.

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- Also with what I see in Lithuania and Latvia needs to be considered. Historically it was a rout, Manstein crossed the Dvina immediately, Riga fell and the russians never could mount some serious opposition except locally. The Northwestern Front melted away. From what I see, german struggle even to advance on Riga on time.

In one of my test games, I played as the Germans with the "historical" set up and deployment and was able to conquer the Baltics more less on the historical date. Then I didn't stop at Smolensk neither sent panzers to the South in order to encircle Kiev and was able to reach Leningrad and Vyazma in the early September. From my experience most of the players send more panzers to the South, so their advance on that axis is faster than historically while the Army Group North moves considerably slower. But yes, if you want to play "Barbarossa" along the historical lines, the result would be very much historical.

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Some suggestions here, for improvments not to critizise,

- The pop up talks about t-34 and kv-1:s. Infact the reason the soviet union quickly abolished the seperate tank formations in 1941 was due to the problem they had operating them. Not that t-34:s would be needed but rather that the mech corps was too huge formations. They were extremly powerful formations, the inexperienced crews and leadership of the red army could not handle them. It would take until mid 42 before the tank armies emerged.

- Also with what I see in Lithuania and Latvia needs to be considered. Historically it was a rout, Manstein crossed the Dvina immediately, Riga fell and the russians never could mount some serious opposition except locally. The Northwestern Front melted away. From what I see, german struggle even to advance on Riga on time.

I am quite aware of the tank formation issues. There is a balance between game play and history with that. The Soviets are allowed to build them in the spring so the tank groups come out in the summer. They still have to get their readiness up and position them which takes time. They also have to build them from scratch. The light tanks early in the game are not rebuildable. So between everything it should balance out correctly.

And I see Ivanov answered the Baltic States question.

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13th of July 1941

The struggle continues. The Germans get slower, and they destroy less of our

troops than in the previous turns.

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And we get some help:

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We need to use these Engineers wisely, they will fortify crucial points of the frontline. I know a couple of these points already.

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In the north, a second defense line is established. It will not hold long, but at least a certain time.

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In the south, the German advance continues.

Unfortunately there is no possibility for a counterattack yet... the only thing I can do at the moment is to slow the German advance.

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19th of July 1941

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This turn, I just loose 5 units. So this is the first turn where I can buy more units than I loose. Apparently a good sign. The Wehrmacht is still advancing, but the momentum gets less and less.

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The Finnish Army gets a taste of Russian lethality... a Finnish corps flees on Strength 2. What a pity... otherwise it would have been destroyed.

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In the north, we evacuate the troops around Riga and fall back to places we can defend easier.

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In the south, the Romanian invaders still haven't taken Artsyz. The town is just a few miles behind the border, and this is definitely an area where the Axis forces are behind schedule.

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25th of July 1941

The Wehrmacht continues its advance into Russia. This turn they reach the first strongholds.

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Losses are just 4 units this turn, and until the end of October I will get around 40+ new units. Does not look too bad.

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In the North, the German troops advance in the Baltic. My defense are set up.

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In the Center, Minsk has fallen, and the next defense line stand firm.

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In the south, German troops reach Kiev. A nosy German corps is driven back by our Light Tanks. Kiev will be defended as long as possible.... there are reserves in the rear.

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31st of July 1941

The Wehrmacht is quite fast in the north, but a bit slower in the south.

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The usual losses... not good, but also not too bad.

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Heeresgruppe Nord is crunching through the Baltic. This is apparently wanted by the designers of this campaign... I cannot place reinforcements in cities in the Baltic, so this area is not as strong as the rest.

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Heeresgruppe Mitte is closing in on Smolensk

No pictures from Kiev this turn... the German troops regrouped, and I prepared myself as well. I expect an attack next turn, but I have something in mind. Let us see if it works.

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The Romanians learn it the hard way... no Recon against tanks.

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6th of August 1941

The German Panzerdivisions are deadly for my troops... and they take very few own losses. Fortunately there are enough replacements.

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What a pity I cannot buy any tanks or Mech Corps at the moment... my first chance to buy a tank is on Jan 1st 1942, and Mech Corps are availabe from March 1st 1942 onwards.

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In the north, the Wehrmacht proceeds as usual. Narva is a point I will not give away without a certain effort... even if I loose troops here, I will defend it as long as possible.

No pictures from the south... operational security. The siege of Kiev has started, and I do not want to see anyone what I have there... yet. Definitely the time has come where the Wehrmacht will no longer make an easy progress... from now on every meter will take its toll.

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12th of August 1941

Just two lost units this turn, but 9 new arrivals from the building queue... this goes in the right direction.

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In the north, my defense line looks almost ready.

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Around Kiev, my counterattack drives a German corps back. Good to know it is not only the Russian troops that can run. Still no pictures from the east of Kiev.

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Odessa is still defended by our heroic Parachutists, so the advance here is way slower than in the north. Time to set up defense lines.

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18th of August 1941

This is what I call "reliving history"... the Panzer divisions of the Heeresgruppe Mitte have turnd south to help the Heeresgruppe Süd to finally take Kiev. So at least my plan has worked to win a bit of time.

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Lost 5 units this turn, but I can still cope with these losses. The amount of new units I get per turn helps me big time.

No news in the north, my units are entrenching.

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The Tank divisions from Heeresgruppe Mitte approach Kiev from the north. No way to defend against this move, but at least it takes a lot of time.

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Jörg has done some Recon flights in the south to find out about my defensive setup. Here is the first defensive line.

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24th of August 1941

Kiev falls, and now I have a small problem in the middle of the frontline: a lot free German troops. I try to establish a second frontline here, but this will be more diffcult. At least I was able to stop the Wehrmacht in front of Kiew for almost a month.

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My losses increase this turn. But until the end of November I will get 60 (!) new units.

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Heeresgruppe Nord approaches my defensive perimeter. Attacking entrenched positions via rivers is not too easy.

Around Kiev, I take back the remainder of my troops to establish a defensive line there. Pictures next turn.

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In the south, Heeresgruppe Süd is also advancing into my defenses. One of my armies starts a local counterattack to cut off a German corps.

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Here is an overview after just two months of fighting. Pretty sure the next to months will not bring the same gain for the Wehrmacht.

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30th of August 1941

Difficult times for the Red Army. There is a concentration of German Tanks in the east of Kiew, and we cannot fight back there at the moment. Losses increase.

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In the north, the Germans test our defensive lines... not breaktrough so far.

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In the east of Kiev, there is no way to stop the German concentration of Tanks. I try to do a kind of "fighting retreat".

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The south looks better. A Romanian Corps is driven back in a counter attack, and they take heavy losses. A German Tank division wants to encircle my defensive line, but I can bring in reinforcements. My Navy attacks the tanks and destroys a few. Supply is quite low down there... at least for the German troops.

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The Kriegsmarine sends the "Tirpitz" to the Baltic. From now on I need to pay attention.

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5th of September 1941

The German Tanks still lurk in the Center of my frontline, and there is no way to stop them at the moment.

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Losses increase again.

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Heeresgruppe Mitte approaches Vyzma and Bryansk.

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In the middle there is no way to stop the German advance. Only time can help here.

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The loss of Nikolayev is very bad for the Red Army... I loose a supply point there, and I cannot bring in new troops.

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11th of September 1941

The north is very quiet... too quiet. I think Jörg is gathering troops to punch a whole through my defensive line there. I have seen Heavy Artillery approaching.

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The usual losses.

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In the Center, my troops can cut off a German corps.

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Close to Djnepropetrovsk, a local counterattack destroys another Axis corps. Is think it is already visible for everyone: this city will be a stronghold.

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