Greater Germany, East Prussia, Rastenburg, Wolfschanze - February 21. 18.00
*Jodl is back from his visit at the eastern front, he has seen firsthand the difficulty of supplying the different armies in the field. He is back at Wolfschanze and is now going to bring Hitler the weakly report, the week has been just as bloody as the last one, and the Russians have only stepped up their ferocity. Jodl arrives at Hitler's door, he knocks, and enters the room. Hitler is sitting at his fireplace, he turns his head, and smiles, a rare sight in these days.*
Hitler: Jodl, good to see you.
Jodl: Danke Mein Fuhrer, I am glad to be back on our beloved fatherland.
Hitler: And I am glad to have you back! How was Russia?
Jodl: Most unpleasant.
*Hitler laughs, and utters:*
Hitler: Well, what could one expect?
Jodl: Indeed, I have the report for you Mein Fuhrer, do you want to hear it now, or would you prefer to wait until tomorrow?
Hitler: I have not done anything of use today, let's hear it now.
Jodl: Very well Mein Fuhrer, I think I will start with the Tunisian front, here:
Jodl: Rommel has made advances throughout the entire week, his men fought for about 10 days for the province of Souk Ahras, general Von Broich finally seized the area, and sent the French defenders reeling. The battle was not too costly, we lost 328 men, while the British and French lost 654 men, not bad considering that we had to make a river crossing. When Souk Ahras was taken Rommel wasted no time, and he launched three new attacks, the battle of Guelma is still ongoing, however, Rommel has assured me that general Hildebrandt's panzers can break through with ease. The next attack was made by general Crasemann, he was ordered to attack the province of Chetaibi, this was thought to be easy, since only two divisions had been spotted, the area contained 5 divisions, and some of these were fresh American troops. Crasemann called off the attack after a day or so, he lost 780 men, the enemy lost 549 of their men. The final attack made from Souk Ahras was against Annaba, this is an area with a significant port, and the attack was thought to be difficult. That was not the case, general Von Broich broke through within hours, and he lost only 8 men, the enemy lost 113 of theirs. Rommels plans is now to reinforce Souk Ahras, and attack Chetaibi again from three directions, from Souk Ahras, Annaba and Guelma at the same time. Let us hope that the enemy cant reinforce the areas he need to conduct this attack.
(The Panzer IV G, With this kind of power the allies have been routed.)
Hitler: Rommel has really made gains! I have a suggestion Jodl. I think he would be better in the east.
Jodl: Rommel seems glad with his position at the moment Mein Fuhrer, he wants to finish the business in north Africa. He is, however, asking for reinforcements.
Hitler: I think he must rely on what he already has for the moment.
Jodl: Very well Mein Fuhrer. The battle for control of Gabes has raged for the entire week, and the balance is just as it was a week ago, we have a slight advantage, and Rommel is planning a counterstrike with his southern reserves.
Hitler: Güt, I like offensives!
Jodl: Heil! The final development has been along the northern shore. the British 6. armored division, which is under French control tried to push even further, the division attacked Rumohr's battered division in L'Ariana, Rumohr did not stand much of a chance and fell back, he left behind 166 men, while the enemy lost 128 men. It seemed for a moment as if the enemy tanks would push all the way through to Tunis. It was not to be, one of our garrison brigades reached L'Ariana, and at the same time one of our divisions reached Mateur, this effectively left the enemy encircled. They are now being attacked from three sides, and their defeat seems imminent, this means that 9 000 prisoners will be taken within a short time period.
Hitler: Sehr güt, who is leading the attack against Bizerte?
Jodl: Rommel himself Mein Fuhrer.
Hitler: Haha! Then victory is assured!
Jodl: Indeed it is, Rommel has told me that the total casualty count in Tunisia is 1 282 of our men, compared to 1 444 allied soldiers.
Hitler: Güt, güt, güt...
Jodl: That was all from Rommel, shall we move on to the east Mein Fuhrer?
Hitler: Yes, please do.
Jodl: Very well, take a look here, the Kuban has seen little change since last week:
Jodl: I must apologize for the bad quality of the photo, one of our technicians did something very wrong, he has been fired of course.
Hitler: That is the price for making mistakes...
Jodl: Indeed it is. For the entire week the battle of Batajsk has raged on, the Russians have fed more troops into the battle, but they are down to one rifle divisions, while we are attacking them with three panzer divisions, not even a river can stop us now! The enemy had a huge success in the area, they won the battle of Korenovsk, the 18 000 men of general Tippelskirch could not halt the nearly 100 000 Russians. We fell back from the area losing 3 352 men, the Russians lost 780 of their men. The enemy tried to exploit this by attacking Kuban, general Raconwitza had other plans, he forced the Russians to retreat, the enemy lost 220 men, while we lost 195 of ours. For the entire week the enemy has attacked general Pilfousek in Primorsko-Ahtarsk, the Slovakian general has held firm, and he assumes that victory can be achieved. To aid our men in Primorsko-Ahtarsk we have launched a diversionary attack against Kuscevskaja, general Racovitza has taken his men on to the offensive, he is not too sure about victory, but he thinks that the attack will relieve pressure of Primorsko-Ahtarsk.
(Romanian troops on their way to the battlefield.)
Hitler: Güt, I expect this Kuban pocket to succeed.
Jodl: Indeed, the final attack was made against general Balck in Kahmensk-Sahtinskij, the general had no supplies, and still he held the Russians for days. Finally the Russians withdrew, they left behind 539 men, while Balck lost 1 009 of his men.
Hitler: We must do something about this supply situation!
Jodl: Jawohl Mein Fuhrer, that was all from the Kuban, shall we move on to the southern front?
Hitler: Yes, let us hope the technician has done better work with the map...
Jodl: He has Mein Fuhrer, take a look:
Jodl: This area has seen many Russian attacks, early in the week they attacked general Straube in Stayj Oskol, he held on for a long time, but he had to yield in the end, the battle was heavy in lives, and we lost 2 708 men, the Russians lost 794 of theirs. The Russians seemed to gain confidence after this success, and they proceeded to attack Kamenenka, this is still under attack, general Ricagno is holding on, but he does not seem to be too confident when it comes to winning the battle. General Raus tried to take pressure off general Ricagno in Kamenenka, Raus's attack went in against Valujki, the attack did not achieve much, the Russians had many reserves and Raus had to fall back. He left behind 383 men, the Russians lost merely 210.
(Many Germans have found an early grave in Russia.)
Hitler: I think Von Kluge's central front will have to give up their panzer reserves...
Jodl: Yes, that might be a solution to the problems. The Russians fianl attack went in at Novy Oskol, general Dietrich was outnumbered by 5 to one, and he was ordered to retreat. He lost 239 men, the enemy was barely scratched, they lost 68 men. Dietrich has proposed a counterstrike, he thinks that when he has retreated, a strike should be made against Novy Oskol.
Hitler: I like the idea, he can proceed when ready.
Jodl: Güt, the attack will have two SS divisions, the 1.SS Liebstandarte, and the 3. SS Totemkopf.
Hitler: Haha! Then victory is assured!
Jodl: I think we can move northwards now, Mein Fuhrer, take a look:
Jodl: This small area has seen six attacks during the last week. The battle of Orel under Reinhard's command held on for 6 days or so, at this point our troops in Orel were ravaged, Reinhard lost 2 733 men, the enemy lost 1 415 of theirs. The victory was not to be, the enemy attacked Orel once again, and at this point only 1 division remained in the city, general Brand held on for a few days, but he eventually fell back, he left behind 419 men, the Russians lost 118 of theirs.
*Hitler seems furious, he rages on about the incompetence of the Whermacht for a few minutes, before finally calming down.*
Hitler: Orel is to be retaken!
Hitler: Very well proceed.
(Reinhard's men fought long for Orel, but in the end the battle was lost.)
Jodl: The Russians continued their attacks by also moving against Karacev, general Leeb was ordered to fall back, he left behind 156 men, the Russians lost 71 of their. The Russians kept up the pressure and attacked Glazunovka, the defenses in this area was strong, and general Von Salmuth held on, he managed to kill 505 Russians, when they retreated it brought joy to the sector, Von Salmuth lost 278 of his men. The Russians did not give up, however, they attacked Zolotuhino, general Hube was massively outnumbered, nevertheless he held on. To support Hube an attack was made against Zmiyevka, Von Salmuth pushed for a few hours, after this the attack was called off. Von Salmuth lost 43 men, while the Russians lost 55. An attack was also made against Kolpny, for the same reason, general Kluge skirmished for a few hours, but called of the attack after a short while. Kluge lost 68 men, while the Russians lost 42 of their men. Encouraged by these attacks Hube managed to halt the Russians, they finally withdrew leaving behind 1561 men, Hube lost 2072 of his men. The Russians have renewed their attaqck against Hubes men in Zolotuhino, I do not think Hube can hold off this attack as well.
Hitler: He must, the area is important if we are to take back Orel!
Jodl: Jawohl Mein Fuhrer! Shall we move on to the central sector?
Hitler: Yes, yes...
Jodl: The central sector has been quiet this week:
Jodl: The desire to seize Sukhinichi continued throughout the entire week. General Schaal started the 2. battle for the region early in the week, halfway through he ran out of supplies, and the attack was called off, he lost 950 men, the Russians lost 556 of their men. At this point general Schlopper attacked Dudorovskiy in support of any future attack made by Schaal. The attack proceeded well at first, but when the Soviets attacked his position in Lhubohna he called off the attack, he left behind764 men, the Russians lost 468 of their men. The Soviets applied further pressure in Belye Beregna, they pushed on for days, and general Grasser's exhausted troops finally gave in, he lost 533 men, the Russians lost 417 of their men. An offensive to take back Belye Beregna has already been launched, general Gollnick is proceeding well, let us hope that his men can win the battle.
Hitler: He must win! We can't afford another defeat.
(Gollnick's men have brought up an old PAK 36 in the fighting around Belye Beregna.)
Jodl: Indeed, but there is some good news. General Schaal attacked Sukhinichi again, and during this third battle he won a clean victory, the battle was quite short, and he lost 741 men, compared to the Russian losses which amounted to 817. As soon as Schaal's divisions occupied the area they were immediately counterattacked, general Schulf F. is holding on, and he presumes that when more troops show up he can win the battle.
Hitler: Sehr güt, I have been waiting for the capture of Sukhinichi! Was that all from the central sector?
Jodl: Yes indeed, I think we can move on to the next sector, here:
Jodl: The week opened with a final Russian attack against Nasva, general Peschel would not give up the sector, and the Russians had to give up their attempts once again, we lost 900 men, the enemy lost 378 before they gave up . At this point we took the initiative in the sector. Our troops started the week with three attacks, we simultaneously attacked Vozvysennost, Peno and Ploskos. The battle of Vozvysennost was quickly won, general Brennecke lost 1 038 of his men, while the Russians lost 990 of their men, The men did not stop there, general Keitel B. assumed command of the troops and led them into Khitoni, the attack is still ongoing, but he is hoping that once that attack is won he can move even further and meet up with the forces on the other side of the "pocket". At more or less the same time the battle of Ploskos was also won. General Arndt finally won his much desired victory, in the process he lost 1227 men, the Russians lost 1476 of their men. The battle of Peno is still being fought, but the advantage is definitely on the side of our troops, general Kempf is known as a good panzer commander, and his abilities will come in handy.
(One of general Brennecke's outdated Pzkpfw III.)
Hitler: Excellent, outstanding! We are executing a decisive offensive, this is simply marvelous!
Jodl: The fact that the Russians are still holding at Peno may give us an opportunity to continue our offensive behind them, thus cutting off their route of retreat.
Hitler: I think that after this offensive has been concluded we will have to move some of the divisions to the southern sector.
Jodl: I think that is necessary Mein Fuhrer.
Hitler: Very well move on to the Leningrad front.
*Hitler grabs the map being given to him by Jodl.*
Jodl: The enemy have attacked Morozova two times during this week, the third battle is ongoing as we speak. General Hilpert has held the Russians during the last two attacks, the enemy attacks have been poorly executed and they have lost 684 men, our losses are at 437 men. General Wünnenberg have assumed command from Hilpert, and his 4. SS division will probably scare off the Russians. The enemy has also attacked our men in Tosno, Von Leys has held them throughout the week and here too their attacks have been poorly executed. The Russians finally called of their attacks against Von Leys men, but his was only after 1014 of their men had been lost, Von Leys casualties stands at 802 men.
Hitler: The Russians seem desperate to push through to Leningrad, they have not yet realized that it is impossible to break our men!
(Another suicidal Russian counterattack.)
Jodl: When the battle of Tosno still raged, general Von Both took the opportunity and launched an attack against Leningrad itself. He is proceeding well, the Russians have stacked huge numbers of troops there, and this is now playing against them. At the same time general Wünnenberg attacked the Russians in Nazija, this attack is still being fought , general Wünnenberg is having a hard time commanding two battles at the same time, but I am sure he can do it!
Hitler: So am I, nothing can stop the SS!
Jodl: That was all from this area, shall we move on to Finland?
Hitler: Yes, show me the map.
Jodl: During the early days we managed to win the battle of Kola, general Von Hengl pushed to hard for the Russian defenders, he lost 193 men, the Russians lost 210 of their men before being routed. There was one disappointment, the enemy had another route of retreat, and they used it. The Russians fell back to Tajbola, this led to another battle for the control of this area. Our men led by general Schörner lost only 31 men, the Russians withdrew after losing 45 of their men. We are now moving further south, the ultimate objective is Kandalaksa, if this can be taken then an encirclement of the Russian troops in the Kola are can be totally destroyed. There is one ongoing battle, general Busse's men have been temporarily halted by the Russian defenders of Apatity, however, as soon as more troops arrive victory will be ours!
Hitler: Excellent, the arctic has indeed taken a turn for the better! Since we are done with the entire front, what is the total casualty count?
Jodl: In the east our casualties amount to 27 613 men, the Russians have lost a total number of 19385 men.
Hitler: Nein! We have to do better than that!
Jodl: Yes of course Mein Fuhrer...
Hitler: Our men have to shape up, or else! I long to hear from the Kriegsmarine, any new from admiral Raeder?
Jodl: Admiral Raeder has told me that our sinking's are even higher than last week's total. Our U-boats have operated throughout the Atlantic, and they have sunk a grand total of 59 enemy ships! 46 of these were transports, the remaining 13 were escorts. Or ship losses have sunk, we have lost 5 transports this week, none of our escorts have been lost.
(A Type VII returning to base from a successful voyage.)
Hitler: Good! The Kriegsmarine have to make up for the shortages of the Whermacht! The Luftwaffe has done well yes?
Jodl: They have bombed enemy shipping both in the Mediterranean, and in the Atlantic, they have also battered the enemy strategic bombers which have entered German airspace.
*At this point someone knocks on the door, the waiter enters with Hitler's dinner, Jodl realizes quickly that the Fuhrer wishes to eat alone, he therefore does a "Hitler salute" and leaves the room.*