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Thread: The Great Patriotic War

  1. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    well, I think that Burds in his Soviet AAR found something similar in that on hard/VH the German economy is probably too strong ...
    Expect at least several dozen hundert Tigers, with much more later to come... Rivers are your best (and probably only) friend. If you are lucky, they researched something stupid instead of the 88 gun, but only if you are lucky. :-)

  2. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    That should mean they either are reduced to attacks more or less at random across the front (which I should be able to parry), or in one concentrated sector, which could be dangerous but again hopefully I can fend off.
    I would be quite astonished if they had any reasonable reserves behind their frontline at all... all you need is just a big breakthru'... (I know, dishonourable readers could be a pain)

    it's time to carefully reselect your best leaders to gain front experience, you have a big stuff full of hidden talents
    Last edited by wuffer; 20-10-2010 at 08:03.

  3. #103
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wuffer View Post
    Expect at least several dozen hundert Tigers, with much more later to come... Rivers are your best (and probably only) friend. If you are lucky, they researched something stupid instead of the 88 gun, but only if you are lucky. :-
    I would be quite astonished if they had any reasonable reserves behind their frontline at all... all you need is just a big breakthru'... (I know, dishonourable readers could be a pain)

    it's time to carefully reselect your best leaders to gain front experience, you have a big stuff full of hidden talents
    Oh they have masses of Tigers, I think by the end of October I'd tangled with about 8 divisions of the damned things and have had to skew my research to generate anything that improves my HA values, just to scratch 'em

    I'm not sure, the German AI is doing a mix of quite intelligent and downright silly. As I've actually played a way ahead of the updates (the small benefit of not having had any internet access for the best part of 2 weeks), when I'm working up the posts I often have a poke around on the German side (its so divorced from my current game point there is no gain). It is def pulling knocked about units from the line so if I break through I tend to encounter them and its usually enough to stall any Soviet offensive, but also there are units seemingly endlessly SR-ing from the Arctic to the Black Sea and back again - but again they do sort of constitute a reserve.

    Re leaders, I'm usually too lazy to shift them around and most of the front is constantly engaged at any case. I'm certainly seeing some divisional and corps commander gain experience at a lick, and my sub commanders are feasting themselves on axis shipping.

    ok, update soon, open phases in the Ukraine ....
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  4. #104
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    A deadly dance: The Western Ukraine June 1941

    For most of June the war in the Ukraine had a very different dynamic to the fast moving operations in Bielorussia. In part the Soviets actually had superior numbers of armour (4 divisions of medium armour split between BT-7s and T-34s) and 4 brigades of T-60 light tanks.


    (T-34 in action in the western ukraine)

    Against this initially the Germans only committed 6th Pzr and the 2nd and 4th Heavy Armour divisions.

    However, as in the north, the forces actually on the Soviet front were badly outnumbered and, once the border was breached, there were less river lines to anchor any defense. By the 14th of June, the element of 5 Army that had originally held the area south of Brest Litovsk was facing the tricky task of retreating southwards (so as to avoid encirclement in the Pripyet marshes) at the same time as the main German offensive pushed directly eastwards. This was partly achieved by localised counterattacks such as at Lopatyn.



    5 Army in particular allocated the bulk of its forces to its northern wing so as to secure the retreat lines for 15 corps. The bloody action at Sarny was typical of these holding engagements.



    By the 29 June, 5 Army had completed this complex manouvre but was also now heavily engaged in a defensive battle immediately to the west of Kiev. However, its northern flank was now held by the badly weakened 15 corp. This, combined with the defeats in Bielorussia, was to unhinge the entire defense of Kiev in the coming weeks.


    (if many actions were of the nature of short meeting engagements, towns across the region still felt the full force of modern warfare)

    Critical to the Soviet strategy, especially in south east Poland, had been a fear of a major encirclement when (there seemed little doubt they would) Hungary and Rumania joined the war. German pressure finally paid off and both entered the war on the 26 June (adding a further 40 divisions to the forces pressing into the Soviet Union). At that stage the Soviet front was more or less a straight line running from the Pripyet to the Rumanian border. German pressure had been intense, but the lack of armour had meant they had managed only a linear advance with Soviet formations quite willing to fight vicious defensive actions then pull back.



    To this extent, the outcomes of the early battles in the Western Ukraine could be seen as relatively succesful. Nothing had been lost that was irreperable and most formations were still combat capable. However, the next stage of the Ukrainian war was to see a more direct threat to Kiev, Odessa and the industrial regions of the lower Dniepr. As in Bielorussia, this then presented a new problem to the Soviet commanders, how to convert a successful retreat into a successful defense.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  5. #105
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post

    (T-34 in action in the western ukraine)
    Are you absolutely, positively, 100 percent sure that is the correct caption for that picture...?

    Looks like your fighting withdrawal has the temporary benefit of keeping you away from the Hungarians - they'll have to march up to the German lines before they can do anything to you. Not that I expect the Romanians and the Hungarians to drastically change the equation - you already seem to have your hands full with the Germans as it is.

    Assuming you want to hold Kiev, the least indefensible position might be to draw a line from 31st to 13th Army, and then following that river on the border with Romania (is that the Prut? Such a lovely name in Dutch...). Or, if that's not possible, maybe draw the line from 31st to 8th Mech, and then southeast along the river there.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Nothing had been lost that was irreperable and most formations were still combat capable.
    How much further can you pull back before it really starts to hurt your capacity to sustain the war effort?

  7. #107
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Are you absolutely, positively, 100 percent sure that is the correct caption for that picture...?
    Wartime realism?

  8. #108
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Are you absolutely, positively, 100 percent sure that is the correct caption for that picture...?
    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Wartime realism?
    it does look a bit deflated doesn't it ... think of it as an early attempt at this cunning ruse

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Looks like your fighting withdrawal has the temporary benefit of keeping you away from the Hungarians - they'll have to march up to the German lines before they can do anything to you. Not that I expect the Romanians and the Hungarians to drastically change the equation - you already seem to have your hands full with the Germans as it is.

    Assuming you want to hold Kiev, the least indefensible position might be to draw a line from 31st to 13th Army, and then following that river on the border with Romania (is that the Prut? Such a lovely name in Dutch...). Or, if that's not possible, maybe draw the line from 31st to 8th Mech, and then southeast along the river there.
    certainly have my hands full ... due to shortfalls in equipment and doctrine (they have the leadership to research everything and anything), I reckon I need 2 rifle divs to hold off one of theirs, and they have more or less equal numbers to me. As in the next post ... all good advice, its enacting it was my problem, but given the combat realities I need all the time to try and anchor my defenses on river lines, at least then I inflict heavy losses before having to pull back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfredian View Post
    How much further can you pull back before it really starts to hurt your capacity to sustain the war effort?
    I'll catch up on this side in the next few posts, but in effect not much more. Due to their occupation of W Europe the Germans have more than double my leadership so they are pretty up to date with all possible research and engaging in all sorts of diplomatic nasties (some of which come to haunt me later on), so every major city loss really hurts me. By end of July my losses are more painful in terms of leadership than IC, but I have, ideally to try and hold them at or near the line I reach in the next post (& I don't )
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  9. #109
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    On the brink of disaster: Western Ukraine June-July 1941

    The entry of Hungary, Rumania and Greece into the war on 26 June changed the dynamics of the war in the western ukraine. By the time this happened Kirponos' SW Front had pulled back sufficiently that there was no danger of envelopment.



    However, the Germans were now being reinforced by 40-50 fresh divisions and although the 9th Army deployed in Bessarabia was now in the war, in reality it was the weakest of all the Soviet formations on the western borders. It had no tank divisions and only 1 brigade of T-60s.


    (Rumanian troops pushing into Bessarabia)

    Bessarabia and Odessa

    In Bessarabia the first action was a short sharp meeting engagement on the border at Chisinau which saw the Rumanians forced to a quick retreat. Unlike the events of 7 June, the Soviet border forces were in position and well prepared. Even so, elsewhere the results of the initial skirmishes were less sucessful and by 1 July most of the border was in Rumanian hands. Like their German allies the Rumanians relied on constant pressure to overwhelm the Soviet defenders with particularly brutal battles taking place at Soroca, Rozdina and Illichivsk. These 3 actions alone saw 4000 Soviet dead for 1500 Rumanians. With the fall of Balta on 22 July, Bessarabia had fallen back into Rumanian hands and the war moved past the 1940 Soviet border.

    With German assistance, the Rumanians commenced an assault on Odessa on the 20 July and this critical port fell on the 28th. The Rumanians had paid a high price (over 1000 dead)


    but the impact on Soviet morale, allied to the loss of Narva on the same day and the defeat at Velikiye Luki was traumatic.



    (German troops pass Soviet defensive lines at Odessa)

    Thereafter 9th Army sought to retreat to cover the Dniepr crossings, launching small scale counterattacks to buy time for damaged divisions to retreat to the rear. The threat to the industrial and resource centres of the south ukraine was clear to all.

    Kiev and the Upper Dniepr

    To the north, the Germans kept up steady pressure across the front without ever threatening a significant breakthrough. Soviet formations used terrain to their advantage to fight a sequence of major defensive battles such as that by the 26th and elements of 12th army to cover the river crossings at Cherkasy at the end of July.

    The German's lack of operational flexibility also allowed the Soviet armour to launch a number of localised counterattacks such as at Rowne on 28 June which they only broke off on 1 July leaving the hapless 263 division with 700 dead and operationally irrelevant for the coming month.



    Equally Volochysk was turned into a trap for the Germans before the Soviets pulled back to avoid encirclement.

    Despite these respites the German pressure was relentless. The Germans breached the outer defences of Kiev by 7 July and the battle for the city commenced on 21 July. At this stage, the defenders were threatened by encirclement once the Soviet lines at Homyel were shattered.

    Thus 5 Army pulled out of Kiev on 24 July having inflicted over 1000 dead on the Germans.




    (Kiev was particularly badly damaged in the fighting due to the intensity of German airraids)


    At the end of the month, 5A and 12A were fighting along the west bank of the Dniepr.

    Across June and July the war in the Western Ukraine had been much more of manouvre than the attritional combat in Bielorussia. Thus Soviet dead numbered some 38,000, the Germans had lost 29,000 and their allies a further 5,000.

    Summary

    By the end of July 2 capitals of Soviet republics (Minsk and Kiev) were in German hands. All the gains of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact had been lost along with major cities such as Odessa. In the north, the front had splintered dangerously. Already Soviet forces at Leningrad were effectively separated from those at Smolensk-Rzev covering the Moscow approaches. Added to this were the emerging gaps between Pskov and Smolensk and at Bryansk. In the south, the Soviet line was intact but forced back onto the line of the Dniepr.

    On neither sector could the Soviets continue their recent policy of controlled retreats and localised counterblows. Ideally the Germans needed to be stopped on a line from Pskov-Smolensk-Dniepr or even more resources would be lost. Equally it was vital to repair the recent blows to the morale and legitimacy of the Soviet regime.

    The problem was there appeared to be no easy way to achieve this simple goal.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  10. #110
    Lt. General anweRU's Avatar
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    Good luck! You only have the units, not the whole ICE mod, correct? At least ICE gives you unit recuitment bonuses as triggered modifiers when you lose major cities - at the cost of lowering national unity.

    I'm playing a 1936 USSR campaign with ICE now - on normal. Got up to January 2nd, 1939 this morning. Lets see if I can prepare any better compared to my vanilla version.

  11. #111
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Things are certainly becoming increasingly worrisome for Russia. Hopefully Romania, Hungary and Greece do not manage to damage Soviet forces too badly, as it appears as if the relentless German advance is...uhm...relentless! Although some small victories for the Soviets are a good sign.
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  12. #112
    Field Marshal Stuyvesant's Avatar
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    Those retreating front lines in the Ukraine were nasty to behold - and then I saw the dates for the different positions. In just over a month, the entire western Ukraine was lost. And Kiev fell, too. Looking at the butcher's bill, it seems the Germans gained Kiev on the cheap.

    The fact that you can't even hold back the Romanians is troubling. I had assumed their divisions would only be a negligible factor, but that is not the case.

    It is scary that so much of the Soviet Union has fallen. And there is at least a full month, maybe even two, before the climate will come to your aid...

  13. #113
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    What of dividing your formations into smaller groups, like one-two brigades to allow greater manoeuvrability?

  14. #114
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anweRU View Post
    Good luck! You only have the units, not the whole ICE mod, correct? At least ICE gives you unit recuitment bonuses as triggered modifiers when you lose major cities - at the cost of lowering national unity.

    I'm playing a 1936 USSR campaign with ICE now - on normal. Got up to January 2nd, 1939 this morning. Lets see if I can prepare any better compared to my vanilla version.
    Yes, I'm just using the extra units and techs from the Common Weapons mod, so the game behaves mostly like the basis SF but with a bit of flavour (as the Soviets there are some dedicated techs that make it useful to emulate Soviet rather than German armoured tactics - which is, of course, good).

    I'm really tempted to a full game using ICE, I sort of like the 'based on possibility' dynamics of vanilla (it, as this game will show, leads you to some creative problems and solutions), but then I've always come at this as someone interested in history rather than gaming pure and simple - so I quite like my Great Patriotic War to feature a desparate Battle for Moscow and several years of back & forth tussles in the Ukraine etc ... so at some stage I will use ICE to see if it forces events closer to this pattern.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Things are certainly becoming increasingly worrisome for Russia. Hopefully Romania, Hungary and Greece do not manage to damage Soviet forces too badly, as it appears as if the relentless German advance is...uhm...relentless! Although some small victories for the Soviets are a good sign.
    There's also a mob of Italians who turn up - in the main if I hit just axis-allied forces I tend to win, but what they do is to give the Germans even more units which forces me to keep dispersed when I want to concentrate and helps them in places where the organised front breaks down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuyvesant View Post
    Those retreating front lines in the Ukraine were nasty to behold - and then I saw the dates for the different positions. In just over a month, the entire western Ukraine was lost. And Kiev fell, too. Looking at the butcher's bill, it seems the Germans gained Kiev on the cheap.

    The fact that you can't even hold back the Romanians is troubling. I had assumed their divisions would only be a negligible factor, but that is not the case.

    It is scary that so much of the Soviet Union has fallen. And there is at least a full month, maybe even two, before the climate will come to your aid...
    My fundamental problem is that a successful defense is an invitation to a pocket. Unlike my last effort, if I try and turn a city or a good bit of defensive terrain into a killing zone all that happens is the Germans turn my flanks and I need to get out quick. I could have made them pay big time for Kiev, but I'd have had 3-4 rifle divisions in a pocket (this is where my failure to properly defend in the north side of the Pripyet - which in turn cost me Homyel - really hit me hard).

    As above with the German allies I can sort of handle them at more or less even numbers. Unfortunately, at least at this stage, the Rumanians badly outnumber my 9A on their sector so they can force me back by weight of numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    What of dividing your formations into smaller groups, like one-two brigades to allow greater manoeuvrability?
    With hindsight I should have done that in the more open battles that came up in the NW. There neither side had a consistent front line and I may have been able to deter them better by having more (if weak) formations and thus threatening their rear if they advanced. Problem is I'm quite a lazy player and the idea of doing too much force tailoring (esp at brigade level) with the Soviets is not really for me
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  15. #115
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Reaching into the Reich: Espionage, assassination and partisans, Aug-Oct 1941

    By the start of August the German offensive had pushed almost half the distance from the pre-war border to Moscow. The RKKA had tried a number of operational methods to derail this onslaught and, at best, all they had managed was to kill large numbers of the aggressors. Only a few German divisions at this stage were rendered combat incapable while about 20% of the available Soviet formations were pulled to the rear in an attempt to reinforce and reorganise (this force, of course, was to be instrumental in the subsequent Kalinin battles). Equally, STAVKA was becoming increasingly aware of an emerging crisis in Central Asia where Japan's agressive intentions were now clear.

    If the immediate solution could not be found on the battlefield, the Soviet state still had the means to reach beyond the front lines. This response fell into two distinct categories.

    The start of the Partisan War

    Within the borders of the Soviet Union (especially the pre-1939 border), the GKO (Gosudarstvennyi Komitet Oborony - State Defense Committee) ordered all party formations in occupied territories to shift to an active partisan war mainly, at this stage, of sabotage rather than the establishment of liberated zones. This was assisted first by the elements of Red Army formations that had been overrun but had escaped capture and secondly by using Po2 light aircraft to infiltrate NKVD formations to direct the resistance.


    (these light wooden planes were the backbone of the Soviet command, control and supply of the partisan movements)


    (a large number of Po-2s and their, often female, pilots were lost on hazardous missions)

    This campaign had early sucesses across the occupied zone as the Germans and their allies had to either accept raids on their vital supply lines or divert front line troops. In particular the German forces to the south of Bryansk were almost constantly out of supply due to a highly effective partisan movement in the eastern Pripyet sector.


    (Soviet partisans near Homyel)

    This was both essential at delaying the German offensive at Bryansk and in assisting Roskossvky's 5th Army in their later counterblow.


    (The German rear at Bryansk became so dangerous that all trucks had to move in convoy)

    Equally such a campaign had the benefit of reasserting Soviet state power in the occupied zones. The Germans were well aware of how important it was to secure at least the passive acceptance of the occupation and their propoganda was aimed at ensuring the populace believed the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse.


    (German propoganda poster detailing Soviet losses)

    To the Party leadership, armed actions the propoganda of the deed was an essential reminder that the Soviet state was not defeated.


    (such images were as much part of the partisan war as armed actions - in this case it was a constant reminder to the local populace that the Soviet state was still present)

    Reaching into the West

    The GKO had greater ambitions than just disrupting German supply lines within the borders of the USSR. They had the means to reach into the occupied west and the Reich itself.



    The NKVD had penetrated the German state (in part based on the shattered cadres of the KPD) and, at least in France, the Communist Party already had an armed wing (FTP Franc Tireur Partisans) that was undertaking limited acts of resistance.


    (extracts from a radio broadcast by Maurice Thorez on 1 August 1941)

    The Communist Parties in occupied Europe were ordered to follow this model, to build alliances as they could with other anti-German forces, and were given stocks of weapons and explosives. Again, the Germans had to accept either reduced supplies and industrial output or divert forces to guard critical sites. Equally, a campaign of assassination meant that German troops could no longer freely move around occupied cities such as Paris, London, Amsterdam or Edinburgh.

    The assassination campaign was also targetted within the Reich itself. Here the targets were often senior officials in seemingly unimportant roles. They were not well protected but their deaths would damage the German war machine. Some such attempts failed but the Luftwaffe was badly disrupted by the deaths of two senior officials and this contributed to the VVS regaining air parity over the battlefields in August and September.

    In each case, close colleagues were brought to cooperate with the NKVD on the promise that family members (who had been in the KPD) would be freed from jails and moved to Scandinavia. That such prison raids also released large numbers of criminals was a small bonus as far as the NKVD was concerned.

    By mid-September the Soviet intelligence structure in German had been effectively eliminated.



    What was not clear was whether or not the short term gains would have a significant impact on the battlefield. However, by September, the VVS had sufficient control over the skies that Soviet tactical bombers were able to concentrate almost at will on the German logistical systems - a factor that was to start to bring the initial German offensive to a pause.
    Last edited by loki100; 31-10-2010 at 14:20.
    Remember, whatever the question, the answer on 18 September is Yes ...

  16. #116
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    And the Wehrmacht shall be undone as always is fates scourge unto the greatest of the armies of mankind, logistical issues!

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    However, by September, the VVS had sufficient control over the skies that Soviet tactical bombers were able to concentrate almost at will on the German logistical systems - a factor that was to start to bring the initial German offensive to a pause.
    A lot of unknown heros so far. :-(
    And for taming Tigers, 'never was so much owed by so many to so few' as Comrade Molotov formulated 1944 in Berlin to the brave VVS bomberpilots.

  18. #118
    Lt. General anweRU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    I'm really tempted to a full game using ICE, I sort of like the 'based on possibility' dynamics of vanilla (it, as this game will show, leads you to some creative problems and solutions), but then I've always come at this as someone interested in history rather than gaming pure and simple - so I quite like my Great Patriotic War to feature a desparate Battle for Moscow and several years of back & forth tussles in the Ukraine etc ... so at some stage I will use ICE to see if it forces events closer to this pattern.
    Alas, ICE is not much better than the plain vanilla game in that respect. In two campaigns (one German, into late '43, the other Soviet, into mid'40), the plain vanilla AI that lies under ICE additions makes itself apparent. The USA just joined the allies in June'40 in my Soviet game. And Germany hasn't followed the decision tree it is supposed to. It never started WW2 - I had to load up and take the Danzig or War decision for it. And since then, it has DoW'ed various countries (Denmark, Luxemburg, Netherlands) before the historical dates. Nationalist China defeated Japan and took all its possessions in the German game and has fought Japan to a standstill in the Soviet game. Japan has faired poorly against the USA as well.

    ICE has several problems, especially for Japan. They set up a historical naval production queue, but alas HoI 1/2/3's IC model is nothing historical. So Japan never gets to build the land units it needs to until it is too late.

    Otherwise, it has been fun. Germany and the Soviet Union has good flavor, with their techs, decisions and events. For the USSR, I am 1000 MP short compared to my vanilla game, thanks to the purge event (-500 MP in ICE, +500 MO in vanilla). I was shocked when I couldn't reinforce my units to full complement at mobilization in Sept'39. I was short by about 20%, due to building lots of new units.

    I am thinking of getting the official unique units DLC for the vanilla version, so I can enjoy the same units there as well.

    I enjoyed the link to the Clerk's war.

  19. #119
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    It is very good to see that partisan actions are helping to hinder the Axis war effort. Hopefully the actions can prove potent enough to blunt the Axis attack for long enough so as to allow for a strong Soviet counter-attack.
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  20. #120
    Major Alfredian's Avatar
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    I was particularly impressed with the partisan cow. Definitely my favorite picture so far.

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