Chapter XXXV – Operation Barbarossa Part IV
Countries played by humans: UK, Soviet Unionx2, Germany, Italy, Japan.
For a while ahead, former French player are playing the Soviet Far East while Daphne can focus on the Bear's western front (or so do I believe they shared the job).
Recap: Last month was a dark one for the Allies and Commitern. The Red Army lost several terrible battles and lost a huge amount of troops in deadly pockets. Japan rushed forwards and took half of India and in the Far East, Russian forces was caught in a pocket north of Sinkiang. With those troops as well, only the land will between the Japs and the Soviet troops retreating from Wehrmacht. With US not very close in joining the war, there seem to be nothing that can stop the tide of fascism.Or…?
December 1st, 1940
The last Soviet stronghold on the Crimea peninsula, the city of Sevastopol, had become an Italian affaire. The Red Army was undermanned. On the other hand, they were well dug in behind powerful fortifications. It would not be an easy task, but for that reason, the Italians were supported by Luftwaffe.
December 4th, 1940
It only took 4 days. The Red Army could not last very long against the Italian horde. Crimea was now part of Germany. As seen here, also the Soviets managed to flee to awaiting transports. Except a lone Italian submarine (locked in here since UK joined the war due to the Suez bug) the Axis had no fleet to challenge the Red Navy.
Later, United Kingdom made some small cunning amphibious attacks, trying blocking supply-routes to Crimea and probably wishing to make way for a Russian counter attack. With some German back up, the Italians managed to thwart these wasp-stings and the Brits were pushed back into the sea a couple of times.
December 5th, 1940
German panzer were blitzing through open landscapes. To ensure that the from the defensive viewpoint important city of Kalinin was not fortified by the Red Army, Luftwaffe activated the famous 2nd Paratrooper Division. Kalinin was taken without fuss and reports from the paratroopers made clear for Wehrmacht that no Soviet troops were even close to the city.
The capital of Soviet Union, Moscow, was not far away now. Maybe the road to the mighty important city might even be open. With Kalinin taken, Steiner would be able to quickly lead his division through the city and continue towards Moscow.
::2nd Paratroop Division was now a hardened lot of experienced troopers. They had been through some many jumps in all the arenas where the Wehrmacht had taken part. Lastly, they had been active by the borders of the Black Sea where they had cooperating with ground troops to seal of sacks to pockets and thus capturing enemy divisions. Now, Lucas Bauer and his mates landed deep into enemy lands – in the city of Kalinin. The main objective was just capturing the city before any Soviets managed to reinforce it. Kalinin itself would be the staging post for further offensives towards the Moscow-area.::
::It was freezing cold. They had all gotten better winter equipment but it did not matter much when they fell through the crystal clear day. They landed soft in the deep snow and swiftly headed off for their objectives. It was all routine by now. Just as they had experienced in Caen, the citizens of Kalinin still thought the enemy were far away and became mighty confused. Sometimes they needed a show of violence to get in line, but the hardened soldier used the necessary force with little remorse. Soon, the city was in German hands. No enemy troops were even close by which was a relieve. Lucas and his friends could dig in and use houses for cover, OPs and sleeping quarters. Vetereans as they were, they have little eagerness for combat and just wanted to make their mission as efficient and comfortable as possible. A panzer division was inbound within a couple of days and they just needed to hold the city until then.::
::They found plenty of booze and a selection of odd Russian products. They saved it all for calmer days coming up ahead and planned for a big party. As Lucas sat on observation duty, wrapped in a thick blanket, high up in a church-tower, he chewed away on dried meat that tasted strange but still good. He did not know from what animal, but he knew how to value a full stomach. The onlything moving once in a while was a few civilians rushing hunched between houses. If the number grew, soldiers on the ground shot a few bullets in the air. That made them think twice before moving about. They did not really pose a threat but until reinforcements had arrived it was better the civilians kept to their own living quarters.::
December 7th, 1940
After securing the route to the city of Kalinin, Wehrmacht had created a mighty spearhead into a seemingly undefended Soviet Union. The problem was, however, that they had too few units in the north to really exploit the opening. Moscow did not seem to be far away at all. Still, the Red Army was strong in the center and could not be overwhelmed. It was obvious that they tried to retreat in an orderly fashion, delaying the Germans as best possible. The German leadership had a slim hope that Moscow could be taken by surprise.
December 9th, 1940
One week into the attack on Ceylon and the Japs were making progress, albeit slow. The terrain was defendable and the Brits made the enemies bleed for it. It was all in vain, though. The Imperial Japanese Navy had a strong presence around the island and the Brits had no way out. It would take some time for the invaders to win here, but little could change the final outcome.
Soviet Union thwarted Japan in the Far East. Due to a diplomatic offensive against Sinkiang they got transit rights through their country. With that, they got the possibility to evacuate the huge pocket that the Japanese troops cunningly had created.
December 20th, 1940
Wehrmacht did not really get the opportunity to blitz all the way to Moscow. A Russian Light Armor Division had gotten in the way and though not very dangerous in itself, the decision was made to wait for reinforcements and to consolidate. Now, the German beast could attack with force.
December 24th, 1940
Merry Christmas! Wehrmacht is giving the Red Army a lot of bullets and shells as a gift – and the Red Army is generously giving back. The freezing day was celebrated with a multitude of battles. Germany desperately tried to stall the Russian retreat, hoping to cut them off from Moscow. Moscow! The mighty city was in sight of the German soldiers in a motorized division. The gravity of the moment was intoxicating for the soldiers. They all dreamed of being part of the first attack on the almost mythical city. That would make them all immortal.
January 1st, 1941
It seems like the German plan to deny the bulk of the Red Army to retreat to Moscow will succeed, although it is a little too early to bring the champagne.
But it is a new year. 1941. It is a year which starts with Germany knocking on the gates to the Soviet capital. What will not this new year bring to the German Reich. It’s gotto be a grand victory… no?
Zid: Happy New Year!
Maxyboy: New Year, anyway…