roverS3

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Another triumph for GOSPLAN and the 3rd Five Year Plan (and for the Gulag system, but we do not mention that).
A triumph indeed.

You do wonder how many factory commissars and mine supervisors were secretly relieved when the Germans invaded; it gave them a legitimate excuse for not hitting their impossible Five Year Plan production targets.
I'm sure that relief was brief, and immediately followed by terror when they were told the even more impossible wartime yearly military production targets... Except for those in factories that get overrun by the Wehrmacht, but they have other things to worry about.
 

serutan

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A triumph indeed.


I'm sure that relief was brief, and immediately followed by terror when they were told the even more impossible wartime yearly military production targets... Except for those in factories that get overrun by the Wehrmacht, but they have other things to worry about.

In John Erickson's The Road To Berlin he talks about messages Stalin would send to factories expressing displeasure with
how much they were producing, and concluding with "I demand more".
 
22nd of July 1942, 'Odin': GPW 10-day Report #3

roverS3

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22nd of July 1942, Vologda, 8,3°C, 6pm Moscow Time

Report on the Great Patriotic War between 6pm on the 12th and 6pm on the 22nd of July 1942.

Before we get to the overview, first a letter 'Odinatsat':

The 18th of July, Lwow, 7,0°C, 7:30am Moscow Time

My subordinates grew more restless and anxious with every day that passed. That said, they weren't all equally affected by the waiting. Sr. Sergeant Bondarchuk was seemingly impervious to the strain, remaining equally relaxed and annoying. At least he wasn't leading an actual mutiny. The two other men with winter war experience didn't complain, and you could only really tell by small things, like a small tremor in their hand. We were all scared of the next attack, we still are, but, for the rookies especially, the anticipation was worse than the fear of death. Except for the two radio operators, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy their surroundings. They did suggest putting in telephone lines between the towers, which they did on the 10th of July. During my shifts, I tried to teach the rookie snipers in the main tower some tricks they didn't learn in training.

I ran surprise drills, testing their readiness at randomly selected intervals. Everyone was ordered to run at least 40 laps of the church (over 2,4km) before going on duty every day, I personally ran 60 laps to inspire the troops, and found that staying put in that tower for the last two weeks hadn't done me any favours where running was concerned. I was back to my previous shape in a week though. The youthful radio-operators had some trouble keeping up, but they soldiered on regardless, and were getting stronger by the day. By the 5th day, I had everyone carry their rifle on the runs to make it more challenging, which lead to some rather predictable grumbling from the Sr. Sergeant. Something I easily shut down by doing it myself and subsequently challenging him to do it faster. After that, the morning run turned from a chore to a competition for who could run the furthest or the fastest, and soon the Sr. Sergeant had to concede the fastest time to one of the riflemen in Sergeant Bylinkin's squad. Yefreytor Gribkov showed the advantage of a thin build and long legs, running 103 laps before he could take no more.

Of course, whilst off duty, I still found some time to spend with Sergei, tinkering with the motorcycle, and talking every other day.

There were also some easily defused tensions about 'borrowed' cigarettes, and I had to confiscate and ration quite a few vodka bottles as to keep them from even attempting to become full-time alcoholics. Enough about the interpersonal friction that builds up when bored servicemen are cooped up together for days on end.

By the 16th we could hear constant Artillery exchanges from the battle for Krasne, to the north. Judging by the number of wounded that were brought into Lwow to be treated and/or moved to Kyiv by train, it was a tough and bloody one. After 9 nights and 9 days of relative boredom, the 10th night, the Axis put an abrupt end to it.

At 3am, on the 18th, an Artillery barrage originating from Zolkiew, to the North of our position, signalled the start of hostilities. The shots had either been fired in the general direction of the city, or the guns were extremely inaccurate, or a mixture of both. Needless to say, they didn't hit anything of importance, but did succeed in waking up everyone in Lwow who wasn't already on night duty. Then, our searchlights briefly picked up a few silhouettes nearing the top of the hill to our North, behind Yanowskiy cemetery. It was enough for the Guards Riflemen near the cemetery to start laying down some hefty suppressive fire. 152 mm Artillery around the city started to pummel the hill. Several IS-2 engines rumbled as they positioned themselves to add some 122mm punch to the northern defence lines. The enemy was at least 1.700m away from our position.

As all eyes were focused on the Northern attack, the North-Eastern assault started. German Infantry, backed up by Panzer V's, Armoured Cars, and FlaK-88s. Here too, Soviet machine-guns sprung to life, but soon the more exposed ones were knocked out by 75mm and 88mm shells. Our reply was swift, as PrP-100 Anti-Tank Batteries opened up based on the muzzle flashes, which, if not necessarily hitting tanks, gave them something to worry about, and run from.

I looked out over the city. Searchlights, fires, and the single headlights of IS-2s and SU-100s were they only light-sources around. Below us, we could hear, and occasionally see, guards riflemen rush towards the North and towards the North-East, to hold the line. The Panzer and FlaK-88s had stopped firing. It seemed the offensive to the North-East was going nowhere. So most of us were looking at the hill to our north, which was now being targeted by both Hungarian Artillery and our own IS-2s. Private Kovalchuk, who had been instructed to keep looking for any sign of a breakthrough to the North-East simply said:

“Captain. I think they have flame-throwers.” - I could hear the fear in his voice.

Soldat_mit_Flammenwerfer-min.jpg

The Flammenwerfer 41. A nasty piece of kit, both for whomever finds him/herself on the receiving end, and for the one carrying it. The chances of exploding are significantly higher than zero, especially in environments where the air is saturated with lead.

“There is no cause for alarm. Engineers with flame-throwers don't carry FlaK-88s or sniper-rifles on their backs.”​

The radio operator looked at me with a puzzled look, seriously pondering whether what I said was indeed correct or whether it was ironic. I quickly pulled him out of it:

“Private Neyizhkaha, get me Sr. Sergeant Bondarchuk on the line.”​

“Yes Mam..." - He picked up the horn and selected the right telephone line - ...Senior Sergeant, Captain Goleniewsky for you.”​

He looked a bit taken aback at the Sr. Sergeant's response, and quietly handed me the telephone:

“Sr. Sergeant, you are to focus entirely on the North-Eastern advance. One of my privates will observe the fighting to the North.”

“Captain, with all due...”

“Those are your orders Sr. Sergeant”

“Mam yes Mam.”​

I handed back the telephone and immediately had the radio operator contact Lt. General Popov's HQ over the radio. The Lt. General was, understandably, otherwise occupied, but Major Balabanov was available.

“Captain Goleniewsky, glad to hear you're still with us. What do you need to know?”

“Major Balabanov. What's the news from the North-East. I can see 10 Engineers with flammenwerfers from up here. They're over 2.000m out, too far for us to effectively shoot at them without risking collateral damage. I'm not worried about them, not for our sake anyway, but I am worried about what will follow up any German advance. If they can set up a FlaK-88, 2.000m from here and fire without getting interrupted, this tower is gone. I'd also like to be notified if the situation changes to the north.”​

“10 Flame-throwers? That's why Colonel Molchalin is reporting the edge of the city is catching on fire. We've lost a few forward positions to Artillery and to flame-throwers, but we're in good shape, considering. The first line of defence has been vacated and fire-fighters and reinforcements are on their way. To the North we're holding the line, and I don't expect that to change anytime soon. As for when and whom to shoot, Lt. General Popov gave you total independence, that means it's your call, and if it goes wrong, the buck stops with you. I thought that was what you wanted?”

“Understood Major, thank you for the information. Let's chase them right back to Berlin Sir.”​

“Indeed Captain, and good luck”​

I contacted Molchalin and Gribkov to give them their orders.

Outside, the fires had taken on a life of their own. They were still far away, but they were creeping closer. Suddenly, I heard the crackle of a Mosin-Nagant coming from the North-Eastern tower, followed, over a second later, by an explosion. Molchalin had just blown up an Engineer, and anything in his vicinity, from 1.100 m away, with his first shot. I looked for targets in the area, but the German's weren't stupid, they were careful and methodical in their advance, even more careful than before, hugging the buildings and moving quickly. I readied my shooters.

“They're on their way to the second line of defence. Once they get there, they'll have to slow down and face a lot of dug in guards riflemen. Set your scopes for a range of ca. 1.000m, use the smoke from the fires to estimate wind-speed. Don't wait for your first shot to arrive down range to fire again, take advantage of your semi-automatic action.”​

All the while I continued scanning the ground for potential targets. I decided to make sure they remembered their training.

"Private Lobovskaya, range and windage adjustment?”

“Range 1.000m, wind adjustment 5° left.”

“Private Yevtushenko, time to target?”

“1,2 seconds”

“very well”​

It took an several minutes before I sighted a potential target: A squad was getting closer to our lines. I couldn't see the riflemen, but I could see a few muzzle flashes. They were taking advantage of suppressive fire from their MG-42 to move into cover closer to our lines, avoiding our Machine-guns, for now. They were moving too quickly for us to get a good shot, bearing in mind that it would take 1,2 seconds for the bullets to get there. Only the barrel of the MG was visible. Once the riflemen had moved up, it would be the machine-gunner's turn to move up, that was our time to strike. He would have to cover at least 2 metres in the open, lugging the MG, before he could get to cover, whichever way he moved. The question of which side he would move to was easily solved:

“Machine-Gunner 11 a clock, ca. 1.000 meters. Yevtushenko, Lobovskaya, aim .5 m left of target, Kovalchuk aim .5 m right of target. Prepare to fire 3 rounds in quick succession”​

I prepared for the shot, .5 m to the right of his current position. The MG-42 grew quiet, the German riflemen started to suppress our own forces on the second defensive line. The barrel of the MG moved, now I had to guess when he was going to make a dash for it. It was as if everything slowed down, the MG barrel was pulled back, I yelled, “Fire!”, fired as soon as I had said it, and immediately operated the bolt on my Mosin-Nagant to get the next round ready. I kept looking through my scope, I could see a man with an MG-42 dash from his cover, towards the right, and as I started to push my bolt back into the firing position, he was hit. He fell to the ground, but he wasn't dead yet. I stayed calm, his assistant would be out any second to help him out, grab the MG, or both.

“Prepare to fire .5 m above the fallen Machine-Gunner”​

As soon as the assistant appeared, I fired, immediately followed by the three others. The assistant rushed to the Machine-Gun, and was killed instantly as soon as he started to lift it out of the gunner's hands. Once my next bullet was in place, I fired the final shot, putting an end to the Machine-Gunner's misery. Everyone in the tower remained silent. I looked up from my scope, and grabbed my binoculars for a wider view, to spot other potential targets. The man's squad had stopped firing. A few helmeted heads popped out of cover to look were the shots had come from, but never long enough for any of us to do anything about it. They weren't taking any chances, they did fire a few potshots in our general direction, but none of them came even close to hitting us.

I looked further afield, and noted that German forces were retreating towards Przemysl. The fires started by the flame-throwers were spreading, and had they continued the assault, they would have become stuck between a wall of fire and a lot of angry Guards Riflemen. The North-Eastern attack was over. Hot on the heels of the German retreat were fire engines from the fire service, reinforced by VVS fire engines from the Air Base. They were closely escorted by platoons of guards riflemen, just in case they were to come under fire from a German rear-guard.

“Stand down privates, you did well​

Private Neyizhkaha, how is it looking to the North?”

“Still no movement Mam.”

“All right. Get me Bondarchuk”

“Yes Captain.”​

The conversation with the Sr. Sergeant was short. I congratulated him on his shooting. There wasn't the slightest hint of sarcasm in his voice as he reciprocated. I'm not sure I truly earned his respect, but I would expect my standing with him could only have improved. After that, it was all formalities, Maj. Balabanov and I exchanged felicitations for the victory. Casualties from the fighting in the North-East were low, with about 20 dead on our side, and 40 Germans. The civilian toll was probably significantly higher.

The fire-fighting proceeded without further incident. Over to the North, the hill above Yanowskiy cemetery continued to be peppered with shells from both sides until well after dawn. We continued to look on rather anxiously, as an artillery piece positioned on that hill would probably be able to hit the church. Luckily, it was not to be. Hungarian Infantry, clearly oblivious to the fact that the Germans had stopped attacking within the first hour of the battle, kept coming with small-scale charges on our lines on the hill, losing over 100 of their own for 5 of ours.

ZiS11FireEngine-min.jpg

A state of the art Fire Engine, based on the ZiS-11 lorry, on it's way to quench the fires over-eager German combat Engineers set in the North-Eastern sector of Lwow.

As I came off duty at 7am, I went downstairs to have breakfast. Sergeant Bylinkin took me aside.

“Starshina of Aviation Kharkov is here. He's been waiting outside since 5 am. He asked me not to tell you he was there until you got off duty. I think you better go see him.”​

I rushed towards the door. Wasn't Sergei about to go on duty? As I got outside, I noticed the defensive trenches were empty as our riflemen were having breakfast. Thinking of breakfast, I really should have taken some out to him...

Sergei was already eating breakfast, sitting on the ground, his back against the church wall, with the motorcycle next to him. When he saw me, he got up on his feet and saluted. His uniform was stained with oil and ash, he clearly hadn't slept much. Our eyes crossed, and he smiled slightly, happy to see me. The longer we kept eye contact, the more I felt our fatigue slip away. Without even thinking about it, and without uttering a word, we walked towards each-other, until we were centimetres apart. I was trying to think of something to say, to put my feelings into words, and then he kissed me and it all made sense, that's what I was trying to say. There was no need for words, though we did add some. (You may get ahead of yourself now @Bullfilter )

“Captain Irina Goleniewsky, I do hope that wasn't too forward of me.” not entirely seriously

“No Sergei, just forward enough.”​

We're not just friends any-more, maybe we haven't been for a while, I just didn't admit it to myself. As Sergei rode off on that crappy Podolsk, late for his shift, I felt truly happy. For that brief moment, my anger, my grief, my pain, it all faded into the background. And then he was out of sight, and it all came back. I pulled myself together, and went in to have breakfast with my soldiers. This morning's battle wasn't the toughest test, but we did well, and we were victorious. Celebrations were rather muted, as the battle of Krasne continues, and so does the steady stream of wounded pouring into the city's hospitals. This war is just starting, and I fear the worst is yet to come.

All the best,

Capt. Irina Alexandrovich Goleniewsky (aka. 11)​

Arctic Front (XXXIV GSK / 1st AG / Leningrad HQ):

1AG42-07-22-min.jpeg

The Far North, cold and lonely.

Mountaineers from XXXIV GSK continue to grab empty territory in the far north of Norway. Infrastructure has become so bad that only a single Division continues to claim territory and the others are returning to Petsamo in preparation for their eventual seaborne transportation to the Narvik area. Realistically, this second phase will take place only after Copenhagen has been secured and a task force from the Baltic Fleet is able to assist. Considering how slowly our Mountaineers move in the frozen Arctic wasteland, especially during snowstorms, it could be a while before they themselves are in position.
Baltic Sea (XXXIII SK / VDV / RBBF / Leningrad HQ):

OktRev37mmAA-min.jpg

37mm AA Gun on board Cruiser Krasnyi Kavkaz being trained to fire at German bombers by it's crew. The AA Artillery leaves a lot to be desired, and the Red Banner Baltic Fleet cannot support enough Aeroplanes to keep a determined Luftwaffe at bay indefinitely. CAGs have to be swapped out after a few battles, and with limited funding for the navy, there aren't many reserves to begin with. The stubborn crews stay at their post, as the prize, Copenhagen, and the Öresund, represent a gateway to the Atlantic.

To test the waters, 439 SP (rifle regiment) went ahead of the planned main naval Invasion, and when the first elements reached the shore of Guldborgssund in their skipps, something interesting happened. The German Garrison in Copenhagen started moving towards the province. This opened up the possibility of an unopposed landing into the Danish capital. The other 2 Rifle Regiments of 111 SD were held back on board the transports, and the landing operation was deliberately slowed down, in an attempt to draw the Garrison into Guldborgssund, and entirely out of Copenhagen.

On the 17th, the Paratroopers of 3 VDD broke in the face of the enemy, and despite the continued determination of the two other Airborne Infantry Divisions, they collectively left their posts, deserting and surrendering en masse, over 8200 Paratroopers can be added to the list of POWs. The German Infantry Division was itself close to breaking, and by 8 pm that same day Slagelse was ours.

The reasons for this collapse in organisation are many-fold. It was the first time this unit executed a jump into enemy territory. Their training was sub-par for such an elite unit, as it was trained before Advanced Training became the standard. The commanders, both of 3 VDD, and of the entire force, are less experienced and less skilled than their German Counterpart. The enemy Infantry Division is a veteran unit (over 40% XP), probably from the drawn-out war in Norway, but we can't be certain. Then there is the topic of equipment. As time was off the essence, the mission was launched before most of the paratroopers got their specialised Airborne Warfare Equipment. There was no way out in case the battle failed, and as it dragged on, there may have been some defeatism amongst the ranks of this greenest of our Paratrooper Divisions.

It was a seemingly unending process: Very slowly, and with great, almost theatrical, displays of incompetence, artillery pieces (from 106 PtP, and 76 AP, both part of 111 SD) were brought onto the shores of Guldborgssund (2). The landing ground was protected by a thin and shallow defensive line, hastily prepared by the men of 439 SP, who were under strict orders not to shoot intruders on sight, and only to fire when fired upon. Finally, at 10pm on the 20th of July, most unexpectedly, the ruse worked. The first elements of 325 Sicherungs-Division were sighted near the landing ground. The Navy's intelligence was correct, and they had now left Copenhagen entirely undefended. In a fraction of the time it had taken to unload the Artillery-pieces, they were put back onto ships. Elements of 439 SP fought a short delaying action. One unlucky squad of riflemen got caught in a cross-fire and was wiped out. In the darkness, neither side was hitting much, and after half an hour, the shooting died down, as the final rear-guard of 439 SP boarded the last skips and returned to the Red Banner Baltic Fleet. One can only imagine the face of the commander of the German Division once he figured out that what he had thought was a big amphibious operation counting at least an entire Division, had packed up in half an hour and left. At a cost of 12 casualties and an entire week's wait, Copenhagen had been emptied of it's Security Division. The rest of the transport ships made straight for Copenhagen harbour and, 2. VDD, though somewhat low on supplies, was ordered into the city. It had taken the Germans 7 days to move their Division to Guldborgssund (2), and now they were utterly incapable of stopping a landing in Copenhagen, or so we thought.

Off the Pommeranian Coast, the Red Banner Baltic Fleet has to stay in place until Copenhagen is taken, and the Luftwaffe was doing it's best to make it leave, or sink. The sheer amount of German Air Power deployed was giving the limited amount of Air Power the Fleet and the VVS could bring to bear a lot of trouble. Thanks to bad flying weather and the courageous dedication of our vastly outnumbered pilots, the Fleet remains afloat, taking significant, but far from fatal, damage.

13 Infanterie-Division, retreating from Slagelse, into Copenhagen, still had a surprising amount of fight left in it when it arrived in Copenhagen at 1 am. They immediately came under attack, from 2 VDD, and from the first elements of 111 SD that had landed. They also got to enjoy some heavy shore bombardment from the Red Banner Baltic Fleet.

With the Paratroopers now running out of supplies and much of 111 SD still in their boats, a risky Air Supply mission was authorised. I TrAK was split in two, with one part consisting of 2 Transport Aviation Divisions continuing to assist with supply on the main front, while Chuvalov retained 2 TrAD, and the La-7s of 133. IAD. This ad-hoc force was flown to Bornholm overnight, and at 7am, the first and last Air supply mission became underway. The effort was intercepted at 10am over Slagelse by three Jagdgeschwader. Chuvakov decided not to stick around and tried to flee back to Bornholm, having dropped only about a third of the supplies they were carrying.

GPW42-07-22VVS_Baltic-min.jpg

Map of the area, with both Air and Ground combat shown.

1. Slagelse (Airborne Assault - Plains - Victory)
12 Jul 42 00:00 - 17 Jul 42 20:00
SU(I. TrAK - Airborne Assault): 3 VDD (Parx3 - Rodimtsev, L2, Cdo), 2 VDD (Parx3 - Briukov, L2-3, Cdo), 1 VDD (Parx3)
26.973 men /
8.265 POW / 1.326 KIA
Ger: 13 ID (Infx3 - Büchs W., L3)
8.946 men /
1.052 KIA​

Air Battles (Baltic):

1. Pommeranian Coast (Soviet Intercept - Victory)
15 Jul 42 07:00 - 10:00
VVS: VIII IAK (D) - Ftrx2 - 248 La-7B - 248 airmen - Bornholm - Lt. General Av. Machin, L2
VMF: 2 KPA - CAG - 27 La-7VM, 27 Il-10VM - 81 airmen - Leningrad (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4

1 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 96 airmen - Moskva (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Zhavoronkov, L4
366 planes / 425 airmen / 106 downed / 114 KIA
Luftwaffe: Seeaufklärungsgruppe A - Nav - 32 Ju-290A-5 - 288 airmen - ? - Oberst Ritter, L3, FD
JG 2, JG 26, JG 109 - Intx3 - 336 Me-109G -
JG 27, JG 138, JG 433 - Intx3 - 280 Me-109G -
648 planes / 904 airmen
/ 44 downed / 156 KIA​

2. Pommeranian Coast (Soviet Intercept - Weather - 18,50% (Thunderstorm) - Victory)
19 Jul 42 09:00 - 13:00
VVS: VIII IAK (D) - Ftrx1 - 113 La-7B - 113 airmen - Bornholm - Lt. General Av. Machin, L2
VMF: 2 KPA - CAG - 26 La-7VM, 26 Il-10VM - 78 airmen - Leningrad (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
1 KPA - CAG - 24 La-7VM, 24 Il-10VM - 72 airmen - Moskva (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Zhavoronkov, L4
213 planes / 263 airmen / 14 downed / 15 KIA
Luftwaffe: JG 54, KG 26, KG 27 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 111 FW-190D, 175 Ju-88A-4 - 811 airmen - ? - Genlt. Mahnke, L3, SAT
286 planes / 811 airmen /
33 downed / 120 KIA​

3. Pommeranian Coast (Soviet Intercept - Victory)
19 Jul 42 14:00 - 19:00
VMF: 2 KPA - CAG - 27 La-7VM, 26 Il-10VM - 79 airmen - Leningrad (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
1 KPA - CAG - 23 La-7VM, 23 Il-10VM - 69 airmen - Moskva (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Zhavoronkov, L4
99 planes / 148 airmen / 12 downed / 18 KIA
Luftwaffe: JG 104, KG 25, KG 30 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 85 FW-190D, 164 Ju-88A-4 - 741 airmen - ? - Genlt. Sperrle, L5
249 planes / 741 airmen /
67 downed / 196 KIA​

5. Pommeranian Coast (Soviet Intercept - Victory)
21 Jul 42 08:00 - 11:00
VVS: VIII IAK (D) - Ftrx1 - 124 La-7B - 124 airmen - Bornholm - Lt. General Av. Machin, L2
VMF: 2 KPA - CAG - 27 La-7VM, 26 Il-10VM - 79 airmen - Leningrad (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
1 KPA - CAG - 17 La-7VM, 16 Il-10VM - 49 airmen - Moskva (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Zhavoronkov, L4
210 planes / 252 airmen / 7 downed / 13 KIA
Luftwaffe: JG 106, KG 54, KG 55 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 90 FW-190D, 185 Ju-88A-4 - 830 airmen - ? - Genlt. Bülowius, L4
275 planes / 830 airmen /
37 downed / 139 KIA​

6. Bornholm (Soviet Airborne Supply drop / German Intercept - Defeat)
22 Jul 42 09:00 - 11:00
VVS: I TrAK - Ftr, Tra - 124 La-7, 124 Li-2 - 372 airmen - Bornholm- Lt. Gen. Av. Chuvakov, L2
248 planes / 372 airmen /
32 downed / 52 KIA
Luftwaffe: JG772, JG 71, JG 52 - Intx3 - 327 Me-109G - 327 airmen - ? - Genlt. von Greim, L4, SAT
327 planes / 327 airmen /
2 downed / 2 KIA​

7. Pommeranian Coast (Soviet Intercept - Weather - 14,80 (fog) - Victory)
19 Jul 42 14:00 - 19:00
VMF: 2 KPA - CAG - 27 La-7VM, 27 Il-10VM - 81 airmen - Leningrad (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
7 KPA - CAG - 20 La-7VM, 19 Il-10VM - 58 airmen - Moskva (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Kapitochin, L2
93 planes / 139 airmen / 10 downed / 15 KIA
Luftwaffe: JG 50, KG 50, KG 76 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 81 FW-190D, 180 Ju-88A-4 - 801 airmen - ? - Genlt. Dörstling, L3
261 planes / 801 airmen /
18 downed / 48 KIA
Northern Main Front (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):

RedArmySurrender-min.jpg

A rifleman of 37 SD surrenders to German Infantry in Saldus, his Division encircled by enemy forces and cut off from reinforcements and resupply.

The evening of the 12th saw a German attack on Kaisiadorys (1), to the south of Kaunas at 7pm, the exhausted and disorganised defenders couldn't put up much of a fight. At midnight two more German attacks, one on Zelva (5), the other on retreating units in Swislocz. The latter province remains key for the retreat of the remaining Divisions from Brzesc-Litewski and Narew.

It took until 4pm on the 13th for another report to come in from 2 AG. The Red Army started a rather ambitious attack on Tukums (3), considering the poor state of the attacking Division and the dense forest in the province. It was really more of a delaying action than an actual attack, lasting a mere 2 hours. 6 pm also saw the end of the battle of Kaisiadorys (1), in a resounding victory, and the 4th battle of Swislocz (2), which ended in another defeat after more German Divisions reinforced the battle, while our own spent Divisions broke 1 by 1. Casualties were in our favour for both battles, with our exhausted riflemen in Kaisiadorys (1) taking 16 German lives for every man they lost defending the Eastern bank of the Memel. The action continued when 14. TTGvD managed to slip into Swislocz (4) before the Wehrmacht could cut off it's retreat, and that of 3 other Divisions. The Guards, and their KV-122s came under fire within the hour, now having to hold against 6 German Divisions. Luckily only one of the attacking Divisions had large Anti-Tank weapons that could just about hurt the KV-122s.

Another attack on Kaisiadorys started at 4am on the 14th, this time German Infantry was crossing the Memel, and our defenders were even more exhausted and disorganised. The 5th and final battle for Swislocz (4) ended in defeat at noon. Hopelessly outnumbered (8-1 near the end), and attacked from three sides, the Guards could do no more. Over 500 guards riflemen were lost to cover the successful retreat of 3 rifle Divisions. German casualties were below 100. At 6pm, the battle of Zelva (5) ended in defeat, with casualties 2-1 in our favour. Another attack on Saldus started at 11pm, the position was hopelessly exposed, with only one possible avenue for retreat.

Luckily, the battle in Saldus (6) was cut short with the retreat of 37 SD by 7am on the 15th. Two Rifle Divisions were retreating towards Stende now, while a Slovakian Division just started marching into the province as the battle ended. The race was on. At 10am another large-scale attack on Kaunas (10) started, the most elaborate yet, with 5 Divisions, from 4 directions, and including the first Slovak Division we have ever encountered. Considering the enemy was still outnumbered 2-1, I wasn't too worried. While I waited for news from Kaunas (10), the battle of Kaisiadorys (7) was lost at noon. Casualties were 6-1 in our favour. Simultaneously, Pasvalis (8) came under attack, the defenders were pulled off the line by midnight, with some fight still left in them. Casualties were light, and very slightly in our favour.

The Battle for Grodno (9) was lost at 2am on the 16th, 24 SD had been defending Marshland against almost twice their number. They held for more than 3 days, and casualties were in our favour, but the men were exhausted and disorganised. At 1pm, there was more bad news as 2 PzD charged into Domonovo (11), the very province all the units from the various battles of Swislocz were retreating into. Only 2 units had arrived, and both were understrength and very disorganised. Air Marshall Novikov rushed in his Assault Aviation Corps to provide Air support, and 76 GvSD was ordered into the province to attempt to shore up the defence. There was some good news, when at 11pm, the 4th Battle of Kaunas (10) ended in a resounding victory, with over 3500 Axis casualties, for 700 of our own. About half of the death toll was Slovakian, as 2 Pesi Divize continued the assault on it's own for another 18 hours after all the German Divisions had halted theirs.

At midnight, disaster struck again. 1. Pesi Divize managed to cut behind our patchy lines in the Western part of the Latvia SSR, eventually taking Stende, and cutting off the retreat of 52 SD (10.646 strong), the men were taken prisoner at 1 am. 37 SD also found itself cut off from the front line, but still being somewhat organised, it managed to chase 1. Pesi Divize out of Stende without a real fight. The Slovakians were already moving to take the prisoners towards Germany. This only bought a little time as 37 SD was being pursued by 227 ID, and before it could take back Stende and secure it's escape it found itself in a battle for Saldus (12), and this time, also for it's continued existence. Sadly, the line didn't hold for long, and at 3am, the battle was over, surprisingly the troops weren't captured immediately, they move towards the enemy-controlled, but empty, province Dobele, and surrendered 2 days later, once they figured out they weren't back at the Soviet lines. Also at 3am, the first battle for Domonovo (11) was lost. 3 of the 9 retreating Divisions made it through during the battle, the race was now on to save (or capture) the other 6.

Because Kaunas was now effectively on the frontline, and the front near Riga was nearly non-existent, the reserve rifle corps in both cities were placed under 3ya Armiya, which was added to the 2nd Army Group, which saw it's combat strength increased to 7 rifle corps (- 3 Divisions). Reserve corps remain in place in Tallinn, Minsk, and Wilno. As a consequence, General Voronov's 2nd Army Group went back on the offensive (or at least it tried), attacking Panevezys (13) at 4am, and Tukums (23) at 7am. 170 ID occupied Kaisiadorys (14) at 2pm, and immediately came under fire from 29 KavD, the first Division of Armoured AG to reach the front, along with a fresh Rifle Division from Kaunas. The victory in Panevezys (13), achieved at 5pm thanks to the addition of a third Rifle Division to the push, was swifter, and less costly than expected. That wasn't the end of it, no, a 3-Division attack on Jurbarkas () was initiated by the Red Army at 10pm, revealing a multi-national defensive operation with Hugarian, Slovak, and German troops, all under the overall command of Maj. General Turanec. (Who turned out to be a better General than Horujenko, in charge of the attack.)

The attack on Kaisiadorys (14) ended in victory at 4am, with casualties below 200. Then came some bad news. After 7 full days of fighting, X SK's HQ unit broke at 7am in Alytus (15), casualties were heavy on both sides (close to 1000 Soviets, and 800 Germans). At the same time, 7 KavD came under attack in Lida (17), and an hour later, the second battle of Domonovo (16) ended in another defeat. Only a single Division was yet to make it back to the front line. At 9am, 7 KavD was pulled out of Lida (17) to cover the retreat of 24 SD from Grodno into Zabloc, to the North of Lida (17).

The 19th saw a short Soviet probe into recently occupied Pasvalis (18), lasting three hours between 7 and 10 am, with little progress and few casualties to show for it. There was better news an hour later: The battle of Jurbarkas (19) ended in a clear offensive victory, with casualties in our favour and below 500. Buoyed by that success, 2 AG launched another attack on Panevezys (21) at noon, and at 1pm 7 KavD charged into Alytus (), it was expected 3-1 numerical superiority would prevail in the former, and mechanised Cavalry in the latter. Things didn't much slow down in the afternoon. When 20 ID took possession of Lida (20), it found itself under fire from the IX SK HQ unit, and 5 KavD. As 5 KavD was attacking across the Memel, the attack was called off after 2 hours with few casualties on either side. At the same time, 2AG ordered an attack on Jelgava, 218 SD obliged, but the odds weren't great. The day ended on a positive note with a victory in Panevezys (21), casualties were 3-1 in our favour as the German Division was forced to retreat to the West.

At 9am on the 20th of July, a German Infantrie-Division managed to sneak into Jurbarkas (22) before our forces could secure the province, faced with 2 fully-staffed rifle Divisions moving on their position, they pulled out of the province within half an hour, leaving behind some 40 men, for 7 of our own. A two-division advance into Pasvalis (28) started at 2pm, against a single binary Infanterie-Division, lead by de Angelis, an exceptional commander. The day ended with the good news of a victory in Tukums (23). It had cost the better part of 1.000 lives over nearly 4 days, but we would recover lost ground, and the enemy suffered over 700 casualties.

Another offensive victory in Alytus (24) at 3am showed just how effective a fresh mechanised Cavalry Divisions can be at sweeping aside German Infantry. Then, at 6am, the attack on Jelgava (25) was called off before casualties started mounting, as little progress had been made in dense forests since the attack started 2 days ago. Panevezys (27) became a battleground for the 7th time as an Infanterie-Division slipped into the province right in front of 3 Rifle Divisions. At noon, the Slovaks of 1. Pesi Divize attacked Valdemarpils, on the Southern coast of the gulf of Riga. After retaking Jurbarkas, 61 SD moved west even further into Tilsit (26), in Eastern Prussia, where it found a recuperating schwere Panzer-Division in it's way. Courageously, the riflemen took the fight to the King Tigers at 7pm, only to withdraw with a not-too-bloody nose two hours later. The Wehrmacht respondedat 10pm, with a 7-Division attack on Jurbarkas, now held by 2 rifle Divisions. Luckily they were all attacking from Taurage, so they couldn't physically bring all 7 Divisions' firepower to bear.

Tukums (29), only just retaken from the enemy, came under attack from 1 sPzD at 5am on the 22nd. At 7am, the battle of Panevezys (27) ended in a resounding victory for the Red Army, with casualties below 200 for us, and over three times as many enemy losses. Then, the day got even better, with another victory in Pasvalis (28). Tukums (29) was lost at 6pm, 91 SD had found no answer for the mighty King Tigers.

GPW42-07-22_2AG-min.jpg

Map of Moskva HQ's front line (pink). The previous report's front line is indicated in Yellow. The smaller circles indicate small scale battles (in number of troops killed).
The first elements of the Armoured Army Group have reached the front, the amount of Armoured Divisions on this part of the front will only increase. Both 2ya Tankovaya Armiya and 11ya Motorizovannaya Armiya have their orders. 2ya TA is to break through and rush towards Marienwerder, 77km to the South-East of Gdansk. 11ya Mot Arm has received similar orders, except that it is tasked with securing the flanks of 2ya TA, and possibly widening the salient it creates.

1. Kaisiadorys (Defence - Forest - Victory)
12 Jul 42 19:00 - 00:00
SU: 120 SD (Art, AT - Dratvin, L2, Trk), 38 SD (Art, AT)
19.916 men /
33 KIA
Ger (Mariampolè): 7 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA - von Hubicki, L4, BM)
7.779 men /
522 KIA
2. Swislocz 4 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
13 Jul 42 00:00 - 12:00
SU: 34 SD (Art, AT - Vasilev, L3, BM), 4 SD (Art, AT), 89 SD (Art, AT)
30.295 men /
345 KIA
Ger (Narew): 5 ID (Infx3 - Lindemann, L4), 1 GbjD (Mtnx3, Eng), 28 ID (Infx2, AC, AT), ?
53.794 men /
561 KIA​

3. Tukums 2 (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
13 Jul 42 16:00 - 18:00
SU (Saldus): 37 SD (Art, TD - Kachalov, L2)
10.098 men /
41 KIA
Ger: 4 ID (Infx3 - Haase C., L3)
8.869 men /
21 KIA​

4. Swislocz 5 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
13 Jul 42 21:00 - 14 Jul 42 12:00
SU: 14 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng - Kravchenko, L3, BM)
9.287 men /
509 KIA
Ger (Brzesc Litewski): 9 ID (Infx3 - v. d. Bach-Zelewski, L3, OD), 2 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, Eng), ?
Ger (
Narew): 28 ID (Infx2, AC, AT), 5 ID (Infx3), 15 ID (Infx3), ?
78.855 men / 96 KIA​

5. Zelva (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
14 Jul 42 00:00 - 04:00
SU: 19 SD (Art, AT - Hadeev, L2)
10.293 men /
265 KIA
Ger (Wolkowysk): 2 ID (Infx3 - Heissmeyer, L4)
8.996 men /
452 KIA​

6. Saldus 2 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
14 Jul 42 23:00 - 15 Jul 42 07:00
SU: 37 SD (Art, TD - Kachalov, L2, DD)
10.239 men /
42 KIA
Ger (Vainode): 227 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - Miese, L2)
7.989 men /
65 KIA​

7. Kaisiadorys 2 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
14 Jul 42 04:00 - 15 Jul 42 12:00
SU: 120 SD (Art, AT - Dratvin, L2, Trk), 38 SD (Art, AT)
20.248 men /
122 KIA
Ger (Mariampolè): 170 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - Krüger W., L3, BM)
7.847 men /
719 KIA​

8. Pasvalys (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
15 Jul 42 12:00 - 00:00
SU: 64 SD (Art, AT - Kostenko, L2)
10.999 men /
113 KIA
Ger (Joniskis): 79 ID (Infx2, AC, TD - de Angelis, L5, OD, BM)
7.993 men /
124 KIA​

9. Grodno (Defence - Marsh - Defeat)
12 Jul 42 14:00 - 16 Jul 42 02:00
SU: 24 SD (Art, AT - Dratvin, L2, Trk)
10.902 men /
564 KIA
Ger (Merech): 209 ID (Infx2, AT, Eng - v. Faber du Faur, L5, BM)
Ger (
Mosty): 20 ID (Infx3)
16.772 men / 900 KIA​

10. Kaunas 4 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
15 Jul 42 10:00 - 16 Jul 42 23:00
SU: III SK (HQ, Infx2, AT - Gastilovich, L4), 8 SD (Art, TD), 142 SD (Art, AT), 191 SD (Art, AT), 78 SD (Art, AT),
43 SD (Art, AT), 61 SD (Art, TD), 6 SD (Art, AT)
84.994 men /
729 KIA
Ger (Ariogala): 10 ID (Infx3 - von Schobert, L5, OD), 14 ID (Infx3)
Ger (
Panevezys): 36 ID (Infx3)
Ger (
Raseinai): 14 PzD (Arm, Mot, ??)
34.976 men / 1.840 KIA
Slo (Jurbarkas): 2 Pesi Divize (Infx3)
8.994 men / 1.751 KIA

11. Domonovo (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
12 Jul 42 14:00 - 16 Jul 42 02:00
SU: I SK (HQ, Infx2, AT - Vlassov, L4), 50 SD (Art, TD)
18.304 men /
168 KIA
Ger (Swislocz): 2 PzD (LArmx2, Mot, Eng - von Ravenstein, L2, BM)
9.993 men /
230 KIA​

12. Saldus 3 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
17 Jul 42 02:00 - 03:00
SU: 37 SD (Art, TD - Kachalov, L2, DD)
10.194 men /
10.184 POW / 10 KIA
Ger (Vainode): 227 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - Miese, L2)
7.980 men /
7 KIA​

13. Panevezys 5 (Attack - Forest - Victory)
17 Jul 42 04:00 - 17:00
SU (Kaunas): 142 SD (Art, AT - Tamruchi, L2, OD), 6 SD (Art, AT)
22.000 men /
124 KIA
Ger: 36 ID (Infx3 - von Kempski, L4)
8.535 men /
318 KIA​

14. Kaisiadorys 3 (Attack - Forest - Victory)
17 Jul 42 14:00 - 18 Jul 42 04:00
SU (Trakai): 29 KavD (LArm, Mecx2, AC - Rodin A.G., L3, BM)
SU (
Kaunas): 191 SD (Art, AT)
20.995 men / 184 KIA
Ger: 170 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - Krüger W., L3, BM)
7.427 men /
192 KIA​

15. Alytus (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
11 Jul 42 01:00 - 18 Jul 42 07:00
SU: 6ya Armiya (HQ - Bagramian L3), X SK (HQ, Infx2, AT), 24 SD (Art, AT)
19.918 men /
935 KIA
Ger (Merech): 56 ID (Infx2, AT, Eng - Kempf, L5, BM)
7.993 men /
776 KIA​

16. Domonovo 2 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
18 Jul 42 01:00 - 04:00
SU: 71 SD (Art, TD - Krivoshein, L2)
10.656 men /
34 KIA
Ger (Swislocz): 2 PzD (LArmx2, Mot, Eng - von Ravenstein, L2, BM)
9.267 men /
45 KIA​

17. Lida (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
18 Jul 42 07:00 - 09:00
SU: 7 KavD (LArm, Mecx2, AC - Levandovski, L3)
9.993 men /
25 KIA
Ger (Mosty): 20 ID (Infx3 - Erfurth, L3, OD)
8.992 men /
53 KIA​

18. Pasvalis (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
19 Jul 42 07:00 - 10:00
SU (Ukmerge): 235 SD (Art, AT - Malyshev, L2, BM)
10.998 men /
49 KIA
Ger: 79 ID (Infx2, AC, TD - de Angelis, L5, BM)
7.993 men /
29 KIA​

19. Jurbarkas 5 (Attack - Plains - Victory)
17 Jul 42 22:00 - 19 Jul 42 11:00
SU (Kaunas): 61 SD (Art, TD - Horujenko, L2, OD), 8 SD (Art, TD), 78 SD (Art, AT)
32.952 men /
479 KIA
Slo: 2 Pesi Divize (Infx3 - Turanec, L3)
7.942 men / 55 KIA
Ger: 5 sPzD (HArm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA - Phleps, L4)
7.952 men /
503 KIA
Hun: 34 TP (Infx2, AT, AA)
7.984 men /
20 KIA

20. Lida 2 (Attack - Plains - Defeat)
19 Jul 42 16:00 - 18:00
SU (Zabloc): IX SK (HQ, Infx2, AT - Invanov I. I., L3)
SU (
Nowogrodek - River Crossing): 5 KavD (LArm, Mecx2, AC)
17.993 men / 33 KIA
Ger: 20 ID (Infx3 - Erfurth, L3)
8.991 men /
30 KIA​

21. Panevezys 6 (Attack - Forest - Victory)
19 Jul 42 12:00 - 23:00
SU (Kaunas): 142 SD (Art, AT - Tamruchi, L2, OD), 6 SD (Art, AT), 43 SD (Art, AT)
32.999 men /
134 KIA
Ger: 143 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - von Pfeffer-Wildenbruch, L3)
7.886 men /
398 KIA​

22. Jurbarkas 6 (Attack - Plains - Victory)
20 Jul 42 09:00
SU (Kaunas): 61 SD (Art, TD - Horujenko, L2, OD), 8 SD (Art, TD)
21.906 men /
7 KIA
Ger: 73 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - ?)
7.993 men /
40 KIA​

23. Tukums 3 (Attack - Forest - Victory)
17 Jul 42 07:00 - 20 Jul 42 21:00
SU (Jurmala): 91 SD (Art, AT - Kamkov, L2)
10.992 men /
915 KIA
Ger: 4 ID (Infx3 - Haase C., L3)
8.992 men /
700 KIA​

24. Alytus 2 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
19 Jul 42 13:00 - 21 Jul 42 03:00
SU: 7 KavD (LArm, Mecx2, AC - Levandovski, L3)
9.967 men / 318 KIA
Ger (Zabloc): 56 ID (Infx2, AT, Eng - Kempf, L5, BM)
7.993 men /
776 KIA​

25. Jelgava (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
19 Jul 42 18:00 - 21 Jul 06:00
SU (Riga): 218 SD (Art, AT - Popov A. F., L2, BM)
10.998 men /
493 KIA
Ger: 61 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - Praun, L3, BM)
5.967 men /
298 KIA​

26. Tilsit (Attack - Plains - Defeat)
19 Jul 42 18:00 - 21 Jul 06:00
SU (Jurbarkas): 61 SD (Art, TD - Horujenko, L2)
11.000 men /
71 KIA
Ger: 5 sPzD (HArm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA - Phleps, L4)
7.222 men /
9 KIA​

27. Panevezys 7 (Attack - Forest - Victory)
21 Jul 42 11:00 - 22 Jul 42 07:00
SU (Kaunas): 142 SD (Art, AT - Tamruchi, L2, OD), 6 SD (Art, AT), 43 SD (Art, AT)
32.989 men /
177 KIA
Ger: 196 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Fischer W., L3, BM)
7.995 men /
646 KIA​

28. Pasvalis 2 (Attack - Forest - Victory)
20 Jul 42 14:00 - 22 Jul 42 18:00
SU (Ukmerge): 235 SD (Art, AT - Malyshev, L2, BM)
SU (
Aizkraukle): 105 SD (Art, AT)
21.997 men / 736 KIA
Ger: 79 ID (Infx2, AC, TD - de Angelis, L5, BM)
7.994 men /
881 KIA​

29. Tukums 4 (Defence- Forest - Defeat)
22 Jul 42 05:00 - 18:00
SU: 91 SD (Art, AT - Kamkov, L2)
10.442 men /
147 KIA
Ger (Dobele): 1 sPzD (HArm, Mot, AC, Eng - von Thoma, L3, BM)
7.997 men /
79 KIA​

Southern German Front (3 AG / Brjansk HQ):

218659_PB_1100_SdKfz186_Jagdtiger-min.jpg

A SdKfz186 Jagdtiger advances into Krasne. With their 12,8cm Pak 43 main guns, these new Tank Destroyers are the bane of our IS-2s. They were instrumental in breaking the resolve of Maj. General Vatutin's 3 TTGvD.

Midnight on the 12th saw the start of the battle of Turka(1) as part of a series of battles straddling 3AG and 4AG (see 4AG).

By noon on the 13th, the battle for Turka(1) ended in an overwhelming Soviet victory, with 5-1 superiority in troops, the Red Army inflicted close to 50 times the casualties it took, with the Germans losing over 600 men in half a day. A two-Division attack on Dywin (2) started at 8pm, the single German Division in the province was found to be perilously low on supplies, but it wasn't enough to negate the risks of attacking across the river Tsyr, the attack was called of 2 hours later with minimal casualties.

At 4am on the 14th, the 5th battle of Turka (4) started, and once more the German attackers were outnumbered 5 to 1. This time it did lead to the Red Army halting it's advance into Uzhorod (see 4AG). Then at 8am, after 7 days of continuous fighting, the 5th battle for Switaz (3) ended in defeat. The men of 54 SD couldn't take it anymore. They fought valiantly against more than twice their number, inflicting nearly as many casualties as they suffered. An hour later, the latest battle of Turka (4) ended in a predictable one-sided victory. A German 10am probe into Kowel (5), north-east of Switaz, went nowhere. The forest province was strongly held by 2 dug in rifle Divisions, and the Panzers were short on supplies. 3AG took back some initiative, with a 2-pronged 4 pm attack on Poryck (6), where 4 leichte Division was rather exposed and out of supplies. A very Panzer-heavy attack, across the Dniestr, into Sambor (13) started at 11pm.

The first and only report from 3AG on the 15th arrived only at 6pm, but it was worth the wait. The Red Army had won an offensive victory in Poryck (6). Our casualties were below 300 and more than 2-1 in our favour.

The 16th started with a large 1am attack on Sanok (9), the sixth Axis attack on the province. 5 Axis Divisions charged from 4 different directions, 3 of them over the river San to face 5 fully equipped, and well-rested, rifle Divisions. Two simultaneous German attacks, on Kowel (14) and Krasne were initiated at 4am. In the former, both sides were evenly matched, and in the latter the Red Army has 3-1 superiority in numbers. That said, both provinces lack some supplies. At noon, the defenders of Rozyszcze (7) found themselves under fire from two German Divisions.

By 3 am the next day, a withdrawal from Rozyszcze (7) was ordered. They had held just long enough to make sure a retreating Division (from the battle of Switaz) got through without any issues. Just as 1. GvSD was passing through on it's way North, at 10am, the Wehrmacht probed our defences in Kamien Koszyrski (8), after an hour and over 150 German casualties, they wisely stopped trying to break through four Divisions, crossing a river. The massive 6th battle of Sanok (9) ended at 5pm as the Axis forces decided to call it a day, having suffered nearly 2.000 casualties in 40 hours, for 700 of ours.

The Wehrmacht started two large-scale battles at 3am on the 18th, a 3-Division attack on Turka (10), and a 4-Division attack (including one Hungarian unit) on Lwow (11). After a risky single-Division, cross-river, spoiling attack from Sanok into Gorlice (12), held by 5 Axis Divisions, the Axis attack on Turka (10) was halted. By 5am, things calmed down, as both our attack into Gorlice (12) and the Axis attack on Lwow (11) were halted.

Things had been eerily quiet in the south, until noon on the 20th of July, when news came from the battle of Sambor (13), which had turned into a rout. 49 SD had been faced with the combined might of 2 Panzer-Divisionen, one of them a Schwere Panzer-Division, thanks to well-prepared defences, the river Dniepr, and heavy Air Support, they managed to hold the tanks at bay for over 5 days, until they finally cracked under the relentless pressure. Once the Panzers got across the Dniepr, they wreaked havoc amongst the exhausted and disorganised riflemen, of which 1.123 were lost, for 530 German casualties. It's a mystery why no spoiling attacks or reinforcements from neighbouring provinces were forth-coming during this time, as both these options were available to General Sokolovskij. Also at noon, 3 AG launched a two-pronged attack on German Infantry in Rozyszcze (17), in an attempt to expell the Wehrmacht from the province it just occupied, before they had time to dig in. The last news of the day came at 11pm, from the meat-grinder in Kowel (14). After 5 days of fighting against a better organised, better equipped (they had Panzers), more experienced, and numerically superior enemy force, the battle was lost. The death-toll was severe; over 2500 riflemen (more than 1 in 9) lay dead in the forest, for little over 1250 Germans.

Casualties in Krasne(15), where the Axis attacks stopped coming at 3am on the 21st, were even worse than in Kowel. However, there were two key differences: It was a defensive victory victory, not a rout, and the Germans lost just as men as we did. With over 2800 casualties on each side, it's still 'only' the third deadliest battle of the war. A lot more blood will be shed before the end. 3rd AG certainly wasn't afraid of a little bloodshed an hour later, when it ordered a 2-Division attack on Zolkiew (18), held by 3 enemy Divisions. One of them was battered from the fighting in Krasne (15), but it would still be a tough nut to crack. (or not crack).

The 22nd of July started with a 1am, two-Division, attack to take back Sambor (16) from Jodl's King Tigers. When Jaworow (19) was attacked by 77 GvSD, 2 sPzD called it quits and withdrew from Sambor(16) towards Jaworow (19) to avoid getting encircled. There was no time to celebrate for our attackers as they simultaneously came under attack in Drohobycz, from the south (see Below).

GPW42-07-22_3AG-min.jpg

Map of Brjansk HQ's front line (blue). The previous report's front line is indicated in Yellow. The smaller circles indicate small scale battles (in number of troops killed).
The Southern front is starting to give way to the relentless pressure of rotating German Armoured formations. Armoured AG will need to start pulling it's weight soon up North, or mobile units will have to be diverted south to stem the tide.

1. Turka 4 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
13 Jul 42 00:00 - 12:00
SU: 10 SD (Art, TD - Shtevnev, L2, BM), 48 SD (Art, AT), 56 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT)
53.895 men /
33 KIA
Ger(Gorlice - River Crossing): 216 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Völckers, L3, OD)
Ger(
Jaworow): SS-Verfügungstruppe (WSS)
10.991 men /
605 KIA​

2. Dywin (Attack - Woods - Defeat)
13 Jul 42 20:00 - 22:00
SU (Kamien Koszyrski): 130 SD (Art, TD - Tiulenev, L3), 104 SD (Art, AT)
21.996 men /
16 KIA
Ger: 33 ID (Infx3 - Kämpfe, L3, DD)
8.976 men /
14 KIA​

3. Switaz 5 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
11 Jul 42 01:00 - 14 Jul 42 08:00
SU: 54 SD (Art, AT - Chernyak, L3)
10.999 men /
864 KIA
Ger(Maloryta): 231 ID (Infx2, AT, Eng - Conrath, L3, BM, Cdo)
Ger(
Luboml): 223 ID (Infx2, AT, AA)
10.991 men /
605 KIA​

4. Turka 5 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
14 Jul 42 04:00 - 09:00
SU: 10 SD (Art, TD - Shtevnev, L2, BM), 48 SD (Art, AT), 56 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT)
53.490 men /
54 KIA
Ger(Jaworow): 93 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - von Bismarck, L2, BM)
7.996 men /
296 KIA​

5. Kowel (Defence - Forest - Victory)
14 Jul 42 10:00 - 11:00
SU: 33 SD (Art, AT - Kholostyakov, L2, Cdo), 179 SD (Art, AT)
21.999 men /
19 KIA
Ger(Maloryta): 13 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Eng - Gräser F. H., L2, BM)
7.922 men /
42 KIA​

6. Poryck (Attack - Plains - Victory)
14 Jul 42 16:00 - 15 Jul 42 18:00
SU (Dubno): 14 SD (Art, AT - Trofimenko, L3)
SU (Rozyszcze): 23 SD (Art, AT)
21.997 men / 257 KIA
Ger: 4 LeichteD (Motx2, AC - Geib, L4, DD)
6.967 men /
717 KIA​

7. Rozyszcze (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
16 Jul 42 12:00 - 17 Jul 42 03:00
SU: 23 SD (Art, AT - Dement'ev, L3)
10.987 men /
243 KIA
Ger(Luboml): 45 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Felber, L3, OD), 223 ID (Infx2, AT, AA)
14.456 men /
188 KIA​

8. Kamien Koszyrski (Defence - Forest - Victory)
17 Jul 42 10:00 - 11:00
SU: 130 SD (Art, AT - Petin, L2), 1 GvSD (Gdsx3, AT, Eng), 104 SD (Art, AT), 5 SD (Art, AT)
43.929 men /
6 KIA
Ger(Maloryta): 33 ID (Infx3 - Kämpfe, L3)
8.998 men /
164 KIA​

9. Sanok 6 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
16 Jul 42 01:00 - 17 Jul 42 17:00
SU: 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk), 159 SD (Art, AT), 139 SD (Art, AT), 2 SD (Art, AT), 189 SD (Art, AT)
54.884 men /
723 KIA
Ger(Debica - River Crossing): 8 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Kirchner, L4, BM)
Ger(
Jaroslaw - River Crossing): 6 ID (Infx3)
Ger(Jaworow): 93 ID (Infx2, AT, Art)
Ger(Gorlice - River Crossing): 4 sPzD (HArm, Mot, AC, Eng)
32.493 men / 1.556 KIA
Hun: 14 Gly (Infx2)
5.908 men /
283 KIA

10. Turka 6 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
18 Jul 42 03:00 - 04:00
SU: 10 SD (Art, TD - Shtevnev, L2, BM), 48 SD (Art, AT), 56 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT)
54.447 men /
14 KIA
Ger(Gorlice - River Crossing): 216 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Völckers, L3, OD), 228 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
Ger(
Jaworow): SS-Verfügungstruppe (WSS)
18.987 men /
88 KIA​

11. Lwow 6 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
18 Jul 42 03:00 - 06:00
SU: XXIX GvSK (HQ, Gdsx2, AT - Popov M.M., L4, DD), 72 GvSD (TD, Eng), 10 TTGvD, 77 GvSD (AT, Eng), 169 SD (Art, AT)
51.987 men / 27 KIA
Ger(Przemysl): 11 PzD (Arm, Mot, Mot-AA, Eng - Heinrici, L5, BM), 8 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
Ger(
Zolkiew): 95 ID(Infx2, AC, AT)
23.815 men /
40 KIA
Hun: 9 Gly (Infx2)
5.954 men /
109 KIA

12. Gorlice(Attack - Forest - Defeat)
18 Jul 42 04:00 - 06:00
SU (Sanok - River Crossing): 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk)
10.973 men /
65 KIA
Hun: IV AH (HQ - Bajnoczy), 7 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT)
9.761 men /
0 KIA

Ger: 4 sPzD (HArm, Mot, AC, Eng), 216 ID (Infx2, AC, AT), 228 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
26.030 men /
1 KIA
Ita: 9a Alp (Mtnx3)
9.761 men /
1 KIA

13. Sambor (Defence - Woods - Defeat)
14 Jul 42 23:00 - 20 Jul 42 12:00
SU: 49 SD (Art, AT - Rivkin, L2-3)
10.949 men /
1.123 KIA
Ger(Jaworow - River Crossing): 2 sPzD (HArm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Jodl A., L4, OD), 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC)
15.884 men /
530 KIA​

14. Kowel 2 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
16 Jul 42 04:00 - 20 Jul 42 23:00
SU: 33 SD (Art, AT - Kholostyakov, L2, Cdo), 179 SD (Art, AT)
21.998 men /
2.501 KIA
Ger(Maloryta): 13 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Eng - Gräser F. H., L2, BM), 21 ID (Infx3), 214 ID (Infx2, AT, AA)
24.925 men /
1.279 KIA​

15. Krasne 2 (Defence - Plains - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
16 Jul 42 04:00 - 21 Jul 42 03:00
SU: 3 TTGvD (HArm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng - Vatutin, L4), 42 SD (Art, AT- Krutikov, L2), 75 SD (Art, TD), 45 SD (Art, AT)
54.978 men /
2.813 KIA
Ger(Zolkiew): 215 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - Herzog, L2, FB), 6 sPzD (HArm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA - Angern, L3, BM), 95 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
23.795 men /
2.856 KIA​

16. Sambor 2 (Attack - Woods - Victory)
22 Jul 42 01:00 - 04:00
SU (Drohobycz): 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 176 SD (Art, AT)
21.170 men /
34 KIA
Ger: 2 sPzD (HArm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Jodl A., L4, OD)
6.857 men /
12 KIA​

Hungarian Front (3 AG & 4 AG / Brjansk HQ & Odessa HQ):

StanislawowOccupation-min.jpg

Hungarian forces in Stanislawow. Despite 4th Army's best efforts, the town, it's Airfield, and the surrounding industry remain in Hungarian hands.​

7pm on the 12th saw the start of a three-division Soviet attack on Uzhorod, hitting the Hungarian attackers of Drohobycz (1) in the flank. By midnight, the Soviet attackers were, themselves, outflanked by a German small-scale spoiling attack on Turka.(see 3AG) The Germans were outnumberd 5 to 1 and crossing the Stryi river.

The Hungarians finally called off their attack on Drohobycz (1) at 3 am on the 14th of July. Casualties were higher for the red army, but not disastrously so. After another attack on Turka (see 3AG), and Drohobycz no longer threatened, the attack on Uzhorod (2) was halted at 6am, with over 700 casualties on either side.

The first Hungarian units moved into Stanislawow (3) at 10am on the 17th. (They previously trounced the initial defenders of the province) The 2 Hungarian Divisions were immediately hit by three fresh Rifle Divisions. However, they were attacking across the Dniestr, and after 2 hours, the attack was called off as little progress was being made. At 2 another attempt at retaking Stanislawow (5) started, this time, from the same side of the Dniestr.

At 3am on the 18th, Hungarian forces probed our defences in Drohobycz (4), they turned tails after 15 minutes.

In the evening of the 19th of July, the attack on Stanislawow (5) was called off. The odds had initially been in our favour, but by the evening of the 18th, the Royal Hungarian Army managed to sneak a third Division into the province and it's defence. Once this had happened there was little chance the battle could still be won, and the price for continuing the operation for another day was hefty and paid in blood. Casualties are over 1.000 for 760 Hungarians, quite steep for a battle against a second-rate army that didn't result in any territorial gains.

The Hungarians had another crack at Drohobycz (7), starting at 4am on the 20th of July. 2 pm saw another Hungarian attack, on Stryj (6), which, with the loss of Sambor, had found itself the only corridor linking a total of 17 Rifle Divisions with the rest of the Soviet Union. The response from 4th Army was swift; another 2 Division attack into Stanislawow (10), starting at 4pm. It was also effective, leading the Hungarians to abandon their push into Stryj (6) two hours later.

The 21st started off with a 6am defensive victory in Drohobycz (7), once again the province remained in our hands.

Drohobycz (8) remained the focus of much Hungarian attention, with the 9th battle for the province kicking off at 4am on the 22nd of July, and ending anticlimactically, a mere 2 hours later with little over 30 casualties on either side. Buoyed by the easy victory in Drohobycz (8), 4AG then sent a single Rifle Division into Uzhorod (9) at 7am. It took until noon before the folly of the attack on Uzhorod (9) was acknowledged, and acted upon by calling it off. The price for overconfidence had been paid in blood, with over 250 casualties in 5 hours, more than 5 times enemy losses. The 4th battle for Stanislawow (10) ended in a defeat as the offensive was halted, probably due to high casualties and lack of progress.

GPW42-07-22_4AG-min.jpg

Map of 4ya Armiya's front line (teal). The smaller circles indicate small scale battles (in number of troops killed).
Bulgarian troops are yet to be encountered in battle, though the Hungarian Army is proving more than enough, outfighting 4ya Armiya at every turn despite using obsolete and obsolescent weapons.

1. Drohobycz 6 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
12 Jul 42 01:00 - 14 Jul 42 04:00
SU: 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (Art, AT), 176 SD (AT)
31.157 men /
679 KIA
Hun(Uzhorod): 25 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT - Kiss L., L2), 16 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 20 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT)
31.994 men /
515 KIA

2. Uzhorod 2 (Attack - Hills - Defeat)
12 Jul 42 19:00 - 14 Jul 42 06:00
SU (Turka): 180 SD (Art, AT - Novikov V.V., L2, BM), 181 SD (Art, AT), 56 SD (Art, AT)
32.257 men /
722 KIA
Hun: 25 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT - Kiss L., L2, LW), 16 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 3 TP (Infx2, AT, AA), 20 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 29 TP (Infx2, AT, AA)
39.787 men /
776 KIA
3. Stanislawow 2 (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
17 Jul 42 10:00 - 12:00
SU (Husiatyn - River Crossing): 25 SD (Art, AT - Makeev, L2), 141 SD (Art, AT)
SU (
Rohatyn - River Crossing): 51 SD (Art, AT)
31.647 men /
54 KIA
Hun: 5 TP (Infx2, AT, AA - Major J., L2), 6 TP (Infx2, AT, Art)
15.742 men / 31 KIA

4. Drohobycz 7 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
18 Jul 42 01:00
SU: 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (Art, AT), 176 SD (AT)
32.329 men /
4 KIA
Hun(Uzhorod): 4 TP (Infx2, AT, Art - ?), 27 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT)
15.998 men /
27 KIA

5. Stanislawow 3 (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
17 Jul 42 14:00 - 18 Jul 42 21:00
SU (Dolina): 55 SD (Art, AT - Pavelkin, L2, BM)
SU (
Stryj): 74 SD (AT)
20.990 men /
1.021 KIA
Hun: 5 TP (Infx2, AT, AA - Major J., L2), 6 TP (Infx2, AT, Art), 8 TP (Infx2, AT, Art)
23.660 men / 760 KIA

6. Stryj (Defence - Woods - Victory)
20 Jul 42 14:00 - 18:00
SU: 74 SD (AT - Petrov M.P., L2, BM)
9.798 men /
39 KIA
Hun(Stanislawow): 8 TP (Infx2, AT, Art - Kothay, L2)
7.692 men /
35 KIA

7. Drohobycz 8 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
20 Jul 42 04:00 - 21 Jul 42 06:00
SU: 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (Art, AT), 176 SD (AT)
32.371 men /
488 KIA
Hun(Svalava): 32 TP (Infx2, AT, Art - Brunswik, L1, OD), 4 TP (Infx2, AT, Art), 27 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT)
23.997 men /
469 KIA

8. Drohobycz 9 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
22 Jul 42 04:00 - 06:00
SU: 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (Art, AT), 176 SD (AT)
31.940 men /
33 KIA
Hun(Uzhorod): 25 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT - Kiss L., L2), 16 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 20 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT)
23.996 men /
35 KIA

9. Uzhorod 3 (Attack - Hills - Defeat)
22 Jul 42 07:00 - 12:00
SU (Turka): 48 SD (Art, AT - Mitrofanov, L2, BM)
10.998 men /
265 KIA
Hun: 25 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT - Kiss L., L2, LW), 16 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 3 TP (Infx2, AT, AA), 20 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 29 TP (Infx2, AT, AA)
39.958 men /
40 KIA

10. Stanislawow 4 (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
22 Jul 42 16:00 - 18:00
SU (Dolina): 121 SD (Art, TD - Larichev, L2)
SU (
Rohatyn - River Crossing): 51 SD (Art, AT)
21.761 men /
886 KIA
Hun: 5 TP (Infx2, AT, AA - Major J., L2), 6 TP (Infx2, AT, Art), 8 TP (Infx2, AT, Art)
22.185 men / 488 KIA

Bombardment:

TB-3crashed-min.jpg

A TB-3 didn't make it back. Having more Heavy Bombers go on more raids inevitably leads to some accidents. This one crashed on the way back from a mission over Brzesc Litewski. One of the surviving AA guns got a lucky hit, and it was all down-hill from there.

7 Bomber and Assault Aviation Divisions were deployed and have been flying Ground Attack missions in support of ground troops. All of the raids were flown during daytime to allow the units some time to repair and recuperate, as dedicated German AAA regiments are quite prevalent amongst German Divisions. IV IAK-PVO also took part in a bombing raid of it's own initiative, thought the Yak-7s are utterly unsuited for attacking targets on the ground, and the resulting German casualties were insignificant.

- Province (Number of Missions, Aircraft lost, Bombing casualties)

II ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Nowogrodek - Marshall Av. Novikov, L3, TB

- Hajnowka (2 / 1 / 369)
- Narew (4 / 7 / 424)
- Wolkowysk (3 / 2 /258)
- Swislocz (11 / 4 / 1.479)
IV ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Rudenko, L2, TB

- Luboml (5 / 10 / 525)
- Jaworow (17 / 39 / 2.549)
- Zolkiew (3 / 8 / 517)
I BAK - Ftr, Tacx2 - 124 La-7, 200 Yak-4 - 524 airmen - Homel - Lt. Gen. Av. Golovanov, L3-4, CB

- Maloryta (11 / 24 / 1.871)​

V ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Riga- Lt. Gen. Av. Goryunov, L2

- Vainode (1 / 0 / 87)
- Tukums (9 / 3 / 834)
- Jelgava (3 / 19 / 301)
- Dobele (2 / 1 / 108)
III ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Kutakhov, L3, TB

- Merech (18 / 20 / 2.277)
- Jurbarkas (1 / 4 / 224)​

II BAK - Ftr, Tacx2 - 124 La-7, 200 Yak-4 - 524 airmen - Vinnytsya - Lt. Gen. Av. Yakovlev, L3-4, TB

- Stanislawow (8 / 14 / 1.439)
- Svalava (3 / 4 / 402)​

IV IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Rezekne - Lt. Gen. Av. Rychagov, L2, SAT

- Jelgava (1 / 0 / 17)​

I ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 1.296 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Zhigarev, L3, TB

- Zolkiew (15 / 37 / 2.113)​

With both 1 DBAD and 2 DBAD in action, even more damage could be done with Logistical strikes. After infrastructure in Brzesc-Litewski was reduced to pre-historic levels. Logistical Strikes on Switaz started, in an attempt to avoid another breakthrough across the Bug river :

- Province (Number of Missions, Aircraft lost, Heavy AAA guns destroyed (10 AA guns / Level), Infra damage, Supplies destroyed (Tonnes), Fuel destroyed (cubic metres))​

I DBAK - Str - 162 TB-3 - 648 airmen - Homel - Lt. Gen. Av. Kalinin, L2

- Brzesc Litewski (10 / 5 / 5 / 6,8 / 73.957 / 54.437)
- Switaz (4 / 2 / 0 / 2,4 / 0 / 16.529)​

There were no Axis bombing efforts on the main front, with all of Germany's bombers seemingly implicated in Naval Strikes on the Red Banner Baltic Fleet (see above).

Bombing Totals (last 10 days):
VVS bomber losses: 129 Missions / 197 planes (21 Yak-4's, 82 Il-10s, 67 La-7's, 7 TB-3) / 329 KIA
VMF (Surface Fleet) losses: BB -10% / CVL -29% / CA -3% / CL -10% / DD -57% / TP -4% / 919 KIA
Axis Bombing losses: 15.616 KIA / 5 AAA guns / 9,2 Infra / 73,96 Supplies / 70,97 Fuel​

Bombing Totals (GPW - 30 days):
VVS bomber losses: 380 Missions / 956 planes (198 Yak-4's, 382 Il-10s, 348 La-7's, 8 TB-3) / 1.572 KIA
Luftwaffe bomber losses: 3 Missions / 605 planes (286 Ju-88A-4, 319 FW-190D) / 1.463 KIA
RHAF bomber losses: 173 planes (94 Ju-86K-2, 79 Ju-87) / 346 KIA
Axis Bombing losses: 48.490 KIA / 12 AAA guns / 18,1 Infra / 343,4 Supplies / 682,1 Fuel
Red Army Bombing losses: 408 KIA
VMF (Surface Fleet) losses: BB -10% / CVL -32% / CA -3% / CL -20% / DD -57% / TP -4% / 997 KIA
Map of Bombings and Air Battles over the main front. Each bomb stands for one day of bombing missions, with the size of the bombs indicating the size of the Aeroplanes dropping them. 50 kg for CAS, 100 kg for Tac, and 500 kg for Str. (the latter is not to scale). The counters indicate where various wings are based, and the Yak-7 silhouettes with numbers on the wings indicate the Aerial Battles.
GPW42-07-22VVS-min.jpg

Map of Bombings and Air Battles over the main front. Each bomb stands for one day of bombing missions, with the size of the bombs indicating the size of the Aeroplanes dropping them. 50 kg for CAS, 100 kg for Tac, and 500 kg for Str. (the latter is not to scale). The counters indicate where various wings are based, and the Yak-7 silhouettes with numbers on the wings indicate the Aerial Battles. German efforts that were successful in killing Soviet servicemen on the ground are indicated with grey German-designed bombs. (all 100kg for Tac)
Air Battles:
Besides a half-baked attempt at intercepting a VVS bombing raid on Jelgava, the Air war has moved to the Baltic (see above).

4. Jelgava (Soviet Ground Attack / German & Soviet Intercept - Victory)
20 Jul 42 14:00 - 18:00
VVS: IV ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Goryunov, L2
IV IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Rychagov, L2, SAT
868 planes / 1.116 airmen /
19 downed / 38 KIA
Luftwaffe: JG 4 - Intx3 - 73 Me-109G - 73 airmen - ? - Genmaj. Fisser, L1, SAT
73 planes / 73 airmen /
23 downed / 23 KIA​

Air Totals (last 10 days):
VVS: 5 battles / 115 Ground Attack / 14 Log. Bomb. / 319 (21 Yak-4, 82 Il-10, 189 La-7, 0 Yak-7, 7 TB-3, 20 Li-2) / 322 KIA
VMF (Air Fleet): 6 battles / 47 (23 La-7VM, 24 Il-10VM) / 71 KIA
Total SU: 7 battles / 115 Ground Attack / 14 Log. Bomb. / 366 / 393 KIA
Luftwaffe: 7 battles / 5 Naval Strikes / 201 (32 Me-109G, 39 FW-190D, 116 Ju-88A-4, 14 Ju-290A) / 661 KIA
Axis: 7 Battles / 5 Naval Strikes / 201 / 661 KIA

Air Totals (GPW - Last 30 days):
VVS: 22 battles / 366 Grd Attack / 30 Log. Bomb. / 1.399 (216 Yak-4, 382 Il-10, 506 La-7, 240 Yak-7, 8 TB-3, 47 Li-2) / 2.100 KIA
VMF (Air Fleet): 12 battles / 1 Naval Strike / 445 (222 La-7VM, 223 Il-10VM) / 668 KIA
Total SU: 29 battles / 336 Grd Attack / 30 Log. Bomb / 1 Naval Strike / 1844 / 2.768 KIA
Luftwaffe: 25 battles / 3 Ground Attacks / 6 Naval strikes / 1.071 (305 Me-109G, 358 FW-190D, 377 Ju-88A-4, 31 Ju-290A) / 2.450 KIA
RHAF: 4 Battles / 207 (158 Ju-87, 188 Ju-86K-2, 34 CR.32) / 380 KIA
Axis: 29 Battles / 3 Ground Attacks / 6 Naval Strikes / 1.278 / 2.830 KIA
Aegean Sea (Odessa HQ):
After arriving by Series II submarine and getting promoted, Rear Admiral Golovko, L3, Spt has been appointed commander of I. Avianosets Flote. The less skilled Rear Admiral Eliseev, L2, ST, has swapped places with Golovko and is currently leading IV Flot Podlodok on a rather successful convoy raiding mission in the Central Mediterranean. We need a top shelf Commander to lead our Carrier Fleet in wartime, and short of pulling Vice Admiral Kuznetsov from the Red Banner Baltic Fleet, Golovko is the best the Red Navy can muster. Piat' has suggested we wait until the crews have adapted to the new Rear Admiral before sending the fleet out. The options for using the fleet remain the same, though facts on the ground have changed a little:

- Find and eliminate the Bulgarian Navy, probably in it's home port, using the superior air power the fleet can bring to bear. This risks luring out the Bulgarian Air Force, which will lead to further CAG losses.
- Go out further into the Mediterranean, and look for the remnants of the Italian fleet.
- Simply patrol the Eastern Mediterranean, sinking supply ships, and wait for any enemy reaction. This is already being handled by the Black Sea Fleet.
- Stay in port to save supplies and relocate some of the CAGs to the Baltic to replace the losses suffered in operation Aegir. CAG losses have increased significantly, and the fleet's reserve CAGs have already been relocated north to protect the RBBF.​

Convoy Raiding:
Convoy raiding activities have been expanded (see above)

Baltic Sea: 50 Axis convoys sunk
North Atlantic: 1 Axis convoys & 3 escorts sunk
Aegean Sea: 2 Axis convoys sunk
Central Med: 6 Axis convoys sunk
Total (last 10 days): 59 convoys and 3 escorts sunk
Total GPW (30 days): 96 convoys and 3 escorts sunk.​

Total numbers (GPW):
GPW42-07-22_OV-min.jpg


Total Ground losses:
SU: 4.352.697 (+ 1.294.850) / 75.138 KIA (+21.487) (74.730 (+21.487 / ground), 408 (= / air)) / 46.784 POW (+29.095)
Ger: 2.512.304 (+931.918) / 76.652 KIA (+24.697 / ground)
Hun: 674.030 (+274.616) / 6.137 KIA (+3.588 / ground)
Ita: 9.761 / 1 KIA (ground)
Slo: 16.936 / 1.806 KIA (ground)
Axis: 3.213.031 (+931.918) / 125.142 KIA (76.652 (+22.697 / ground), 48.490 (+15.616 / air))

Total Navy losses:
VMF (Surface Fleet): 1 Naval Battle / 6 Naval strikes / BB -10% / CVL -32% / CA -7% / CL -30% / DD -57% / TP -4% / 1.025 sailors KIA
Kriegsmarine: 1 Naval Battle / 1 DD / 1.280 KIA
Axis: 96 Convoys / 3 Escorts

Air Totals (GPW - Last 30 days):
VVS: 22 battles / 366 Grd. Attack / 30 Log. Bomb. / 1.399 (216 Yak-4, 382 Il-10, 506 La-7, 240 Yak-7, 8 TB-3, 47 Li-2) / 2.100 KIA
VMF (Air Fleet): 12 battles / 1 Naval Strike / 445 (222 La-7VM, 223 Il-10VM) / 668 KIA
Total SU: 29 battles / 336 Grd. Attacks / 30 Log. Bomb / 1 Naval Strike / 1.844 / 2.768 KIA
Luftwaffe: 25 battles / 3 Ground Attacks / 6 Naval strikes / 1.071 (305 Me-109G, 358 FW-190D, 377 Ju-88A-4, 31 Ju-290A) / 2.450 KIA
RHAF: 4 Battles / 207 (158 Ju-87, 188 Ju-86K-2, 34 CR.32) / 380 KIA
Axis: 29 Battles / 3 Ground Attacks / 6 Naval Strikes / 1.278 / 2.830 KIA

Total Losses (GPW):
125.715 (+52.750 (SU)) / 129.252 (+40.973) (Axis)

OOB42-07-22-min.jpg

Revised OOB with all the Corps involved in the fighting war.

Disaster has struck, both in Slagelse, and in the Baltic states, with the loss of three entire Divisions into Axis captivity. Needless to say, losing three Divisions every 10 days isn't a sustainable rate of attrition... Reserves had to be pulled from Kaunas and Riga, to shore up 2nd Army Group's line and avoid further encirclements. Cracks have started to show in the South, and just this morning control of XXIX GvSK was handed to 3rd Army Group. This weakens the defences of the city, but free up vital reserves to protect it from encirclement. There is also good news. The VVS still has free reign over the main front, and continues to hit the enemy from the skies, killing thousands of hostile combattants. Armoured AG has started to arrive at the front, the Armoured Cavalry in front. Copenhagen's fall is now all but inevitable. History will tell whether it was worth the loss of a Paratrooper Division. As for our contact in Lwow, it seems she has found herself in some kind of romantic relationship, right as the war gets going. A risky proposition considering the odds of both herself and Sergei making it out alive. I guess the heart wants what it wants. You might as well try and enjoy life, even in the direst of circumstances. Our losses will only strengthen the resolve of the people of the Soviet Union, the state will prevail. As always, your input is valued,

Greetings,

'Odin'​
 

Eurasia

HoI3 AI ExperimentAAR
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The South looks good but the other parts of the front with Germany is ...not so good. Still, we will see what it looks like by winter when the roads turn to knee deep pools of water then frozen mud and the cold air turns flesh into ice.
 

Bullfilter

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There was no need for words, though we did add some. (You may get ahead of yourself now @Bullfilter )

“Captain Irina Goleniewsky, I do hope that wasn't too forward of me.” not entirely seriously

“No Sergei, just forward enough.”
Good on Sergei! I was already well ahead unofficially ;)

This war is just starting, and I fear the worst is yet to come.
True no doubt :(

over 8200 Paratroopers can be added to the list of POWs.
A bitter blow, but the cost of doing business.

The Battle for Grodno (9) was lost at 2am on the 16th, 24 SD had been defending Marshland against almost twice their number. They held for more than 3 days, and casualties were in our favour, but the men were exhausted and disorganised.
Plenty of ground to trade, as long as Fascists are being killed by the bushel.

revealing a multi-national defensive operation with Hugarian, Slovak, and German troops, all under the overall command of Maj. General Turanec.
Turanec! He gets around. :D

The first and only report from 3AG on the 15th arrived only at 6pm, but it was worth the wait. The Red Army had won an offensive victory in Poryck (6). Our casualties were below 300 and more than 2-1 in our favour.
Good to see a few offensive victories among all the desperate defences.

The massive 6th battle of Sanok (9) ended at 5pm as the Axis forces decided to call it a day, having suffered nearly 2.000 casualties in 40 hours, for 700 of ours.
Many more of these needed to bleed the Nazis dry.

Once the Panzers got across the Dniepr, they wreaked havoc amongst the exhausted and disorganised riflemen, of which 1.123 were lost, for 530 German casualties.
This is the fear - breakthroughs in open country, encirclement, etc

Casualties are over 1.000 for 760 Hungarians, quite steep for a battle against a second-rate army that didn't result in any territorial gains.
the Hungarian Army is proving more than enough, outfighting 4ya Armiya at every turn despite using obsolete and obsolescent weapons.
This is a little worrying ... perhaps more Commissars and Punishment Battalions are needed? :eek:

Disaster has struck, both in Slagelse, and in the Baltic states, with the loss of three entire Divisions into Axis captivity. Needless to say, losing three Divisions every 10 days isn't a sustainable rate of attritio
This is going to happen a bit at the start, unfortunately.

Our losses will only strengthen the resolve of the people of the Soviet Union, the state will prevail.
That’s the spirit!

A very busy episode, both for 11 in the small scale and the Red Army in the large. Let’s hope the Axis find themselves in a bloody quagmire as time drags on.
 

roverS3

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In John Erickson's The Road To Berlin he talks about messages Stalin would send to factories expressing displeasure with
how much they were producing, and concluding with "I demand more".
Interesting. How very much like Stalin. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, I demand more.;)

The South looks good but the other parts of the front with Germany is ...not so good. Still, we will see what it looks like by winter when the roads turn to knee deep pools of water then frozen mud and the cold air turns flesh into ice.
The South is holding for now, but the fate of the North now truly rests on the shoulders of Armoured AG.

Good on Sergei! I was already well ahead unofficially ;)
Yes you were. Also, kissing XI is quite a risky proposition considering her training and history...

A bitter blow, but the cost of doing business.
We certainly are doing business. Copenhagen will be ours, with it 2 German Divisions, and then the krauts will have no way to get their remaining troops out of Norway. The price isn't that steep, all things considered.

Plenty of ground to trade, as long as Fascists are being killed by the bushel.
Fighting words.

Turanec! He gets around. :D
He definitely does.

Good to see a few offensive victories among all the desperate defences.
I'd like more of those, but I also don't want our troops to exhaust themselves in offensive operations, only to then break when on the defensive.

Many more of these needed to bleed the Nazis dry.
Yes, and there are many more to come.

This is the fear - breakthroughs in open country, encirclement, etc
Yes, it's already happened on a smaller scale in the North, but it could be particularly devastating in the South.

This is a little worrying ... perhaps more Commissars and Punishment Battalions are needed? :eek:
Yes, it's not even a lack of troops. I don't understand what 4ya Armiya is doing. They could have expelled the Hungarians from Stanislawow if they had sent all 4 rifle Divisions at the same time, but no, they sent them in 2 at a time. I don't know what it is, but these 10 days, 4ya Armiya was pretty useless, and the Hungarians played all their cards right.

This is going to happen a bit at the start, unfortunately.
Let's hope it doesn't become too common an occurrence.

A very busy episode, both for 11 in the small scale and the Red Army in the large. Let’s hope the Axis find themselves in a bloody quagmire as time drags on.
A bloody quagmire to go please!
 
24th of July: Kiruna, 'special' Iron Ore for the war effort. From Sweden with love?

roverS3

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24th of July 1942, Lulea, 3,4°C, 5pm Moscow Time

Tri' invited myself, 'Devyat' and 'Sem' for a trade mission to Kiruna in northern Sweden. Somewhat cryptically, he said it was an important step forward in Swedish-Soviet relations with far-reaching practical implications.

We started off on the 23rd of July. From Vologda, myself, 'Sem', and 'Devyat', hitched a ride on board a Yak-4 to Leningrad, where we had breakfast, before joining 'Tri' and the official Soviet delegation headed by foreign Minister Maksim Litvinov at the Airport. We all boarded a government Li-2, and took off at 8:30am. Escorted by a pair of La-7s, we flew direct to Lulea, landing at 11:50. Awaiting Litvinov was Swedish Foreign Minister Karl G. Westman and Soviet Ambassador to Sweden Alexandra M. Kollontaï.

We were driven to the station in a convoy escorted by a pair of police cars, and a Swedish Army Lorry filled with Infantry. Of course, the Foreign Ministers and the Ambassador were chauffeured in a top trim PV-50 series Volvo, while the rest of the delegation had to make do with a Volvo B10 Bus. No matter, the drive took less than 10 minute, and the B10 wasn't too shaky. I guess the Swedes do know how to build a decent bus.

VolvoB10Bus-min.jpg

The Volvo B-10 bus, developed and produced in the 1930s and 1940s, it was used all around Sweden, and exported to several other European cities. I couldn't find detailed specs for this one online within the time I had available.

A train was waiting to take us to Kiruna. We were joined on the train by more people from the Swedish side: Executives from LKAB (Kiruna Mining Company), from SJ (Statens Järnvägar -Swedish State Railways), representatives of local government, also some more shady types whom none of us could really place. From our own side, I recognised the cultural attaché from the Stockholm embassy. Something was definitely going on. The train itself was a mixed consist, three passenger carriages were reserved for the state visit, and behind it was a row of hopper carriages. 'Devyat' was all giddy with excitement as the train was pulled by a large electric locomotive. Before he could start lecturing us on why that was so great, we had to get on board. 'Devyat' immediately found himself an engineer from SJ to get some more details.

The three carriages of the train all had specific functions. The first carriage was only for the Swedes, the second was a restaurant car, for the press, for formal and informal conversations between Soviet and Swedish personnel, and for lunch. The third carriage was reserved for Soviet personnel. It was a 4,5 hour trip to Kiruna, so there were plenty of opportunities for backroom deals, intelligence gathering, making friends, etc.

The trip to Kiruna was almost 5 hours long, but rather uneventful, there were photo-opportunities, official meetings, and unofficial meetings. Bureaucrats and spies were hashing out details of our future trade relationship, and no doubt testing the waters for other kinds of cooperation. The Naval attaché from the Stockholm embassy was also there, trying to convince the Swedish foreign minister to allow us to produce their latest Destroyer designs for the Red Navy, for a price, of course. The response was that diplomats on both sides were still dealing with the current trade deal, and thus the potential sale of licenses for the brand new Öland Class destroyers could only be discussed and voted on the 30th of July at the earliest.

'Sem' aslo brought us up to date on the specifics of the train, and train line:

Malmbanan_vor_1950_ClassOa-min.jpg

The Class O locomotive, designed by Siemens specifically for the Iron Ore Line, based on the requirements of the SJ. The first 11 were built by Siemens in 1914 under the designation SJ Oa, and a further 8 were built in Sweden in 1917, by ASEA and VMF under the designation SJ Ob, the only differences between the Oa and Ob are cosmetic as the electrical engines and the drive-trains were built to the exact same design. When they were delivered, they were state of the art, probably the best the Swedish Railways could get to do the job. They remained in service on the Malmbanan until 1953, when they were replaced by the SJ Dm3.

“Remember what we talked about in Mozhaysk? They're doing it here too. They've got so much Iron ore up there, and they couldn't move it to the ports of Lulea and Narvik fast enough, so they electrified the Kiruna-Narvik line in 1915, and the Kiruna-Lulea line in 1922. They had electric locomotives designed specifically for this line, the 1915 SJ Class O. These locomotives can pull heavy trains on the steep slopes of the Malmbanan railway. They have less power than our own VL19s (ca.1.200 kW vs ca.1.800 kW), but similar tractive effort numbers. (ca. 20 tonnes / 196 kN). The result is that they have a lower top speed, but they can pull similarly heavy trains. Before electrification they could run full 28 wagon trains at 10 km/h, and now, with these new electric units, they run 40 wagon trains at 30 km/h. For high volume freight routes, you can't beat electric traction. The Swedes were doing it 10 years before we even got started with electrification. Well, before the Soviet Union existed. And it's all run by the state, well, not the mines, but the railway is at least.”​

Once we got there, we got a tour of the Iron ore mines. I was still wondering why the trip was so important, when 'Tri' and 'Vosem' decided to reveal the secret part of the trade deal to me. They pulled me aside from the tour, and we went to look at the process of loading a train with ore.

”See that train, it's going to Lulea, where it's cargo will be transfered onto one or several Soviet Ore ships, and transported straight to Leningrad. This trade mission is not your run of the mill steel import contract, it's really all about Volfram (Tungsten, the word is the same in Russian and Swedish). We have designs for anti-tank shells with Volfram-steel alloys which are significantly more effective than what we're currently using on the front. The problem is that we don't have access to large quantities of the metal. Under the cover of just another steel export contract, the Swedish government and LKAB are actually going to be selling us massive amounts of Wolfram from these mines. More-over they're sending over experienced engineers and mechanics to help speed up the repair of damage infrastructure and vehicles all over the Soviet Union. Shipments have already started this morning, but we're making it unoficially official with this trip. If you look closely, you can see that every carriage is filled about ¾ of the way first, that's the ore with high concentrations of Volframite and then, as the train moves forward a little, the carriage is topped off 50m further, that's your regular iron ore. Anyone who checks the train's cargo on it's way will not see the Volframite, which is hidden below a layer of regular Iron ore. I'm sure 'Tri' will tell us more on why the Swedes are doing everything in their power to keep this deal a secret.”

SFA03_SFA022809122_X-min.jpg

Digging for that special kind of Iron Ore, to be delivered to the Soviet Union by yesterday.
'Tri' pitched in:

”Our diplomats have been working tirelessly to get the Swedish government on our side, and as you ca see, we've been somewhat successful, and the Swedish government finally decided to help our war effort. They're still not really on board with our occupation of Finland, but they're more unhappy about the German occupation of Norway. Something they do feel guilty about. After all, it was the transit agreement they handed Germany that sealed Norway's fate. The main reason for the existence of the transit agreement, and for the hush-hush nature of the Volfram sales is that they are particularly anxious about the number of German troops on, or close to their borders. Meanwhile the only troops we have near their land border are a couple of Mountain Rifle Divisions. The crux of the matter is that they fear a German invasion of Sweden, despite our guarantee of their independence, so they don't want the Germans to know they're selling us Volfram, especially since they're not selling any to the Germans, and why would they sell that stuff to the nation they fell most threatened by. Of course, the Foreign Minister is known to personally prefer Nazis over Communists, but he's an outlier within the government. With the other senior ministers, including the prime minister, being Social Democrats, the government tends to view the Comintern as the lesser of 2 evils, and some even see us as a potential ally to stave off the German threat.

Considering Germany doesn't seem to have many intelligence assets in Sweden, both the GRU and the RPS (Swedish Central State Security agency) consider it unlikely that the Axis would uncover the ruse. The Allies, who have a large presence in the country, of both diplomats and spies, may have knowledge of the subterfuge and the secret sales, but they are expected to stay out of this whole thing. They have access to Volfram deposits in northern Canada, so they don't need to import it from Sweden anyway, and we're the enemy of their enemy, so I don't think they mind the Swedes selling to us. They may have even encouraged it, though that rumour could not be substantiated by the GRU. We don't have many intelligence assets in Sweden either. That one train represents a good number of destroyed German tanks. And there are many more to come, they're selling us as much as we ask for. As long as we keep paying, and as long as our diplomatic relationship doesn't deteriorate too much, of course.”​

We were lodged in the best hotel in Kiruna, which isn't saying much. In any case, the quality of the bedding was in no way responsible for my lack of sleep. I was awakened at 2am by 'Tri'.

” 'Odin', get up quick! I have good news, bad news, and bad news.”​

That didn't sound good, or maybe it did, depending on how good the good, and how bad the bad was. I followed 'Tri' down the hall in my pyjamas. Of course, 'Tri' had made sure he had the room adjoining the suite of Foreign Minister Litvinov so he could get information from his contacts, right before Litvinov himself got it.

'Tri's room was larger than mine. Maps were spread out on the desk, next to an encrypted radio set and a telephone. 'Tri' walked to the drinks cabinet and grabbed two glasses and some tope shelf vodka.

”All right 'Tri', let's start with the good news.”​

Copenhagen is ours! Let's start by drinking to that.” - as he said it, he filled both glasses.​

We both emptied our glasses, and then he started on the bad news.

”We have two new problems, both with a direct impact on our relationship with Sweden. Taking Copenhagen isn't one of them. We've been open with the Swedes about our intentions to take over parts of Denmark to open up the Oresund for our own shipping and Navy. We even have deals in place to let some Swedish shipping, and Swedish Navy vessels through.​

Baltic42-07-24_0200-min.jpeg

Copenhagen has fallen, but 13 Infanterie-Division, the thorn in our side for the entire operation has slipped the net to fight another day. Thanks to Sweden's 'neutrality'.

The first problem is what happened as our troops captured the city. You see, the German 13 Infanterie-Division, which gave us so much trouble throughout operation 'Aegir', fled across the strait to Malmö. As per their transfer agreement with Germany, the Swedes let them in, and let them keep their weapons. I'm sure Stalin is furious about this, but he certainly understands the importance of the Volfram contracts. He agreed to hold off on any vitriolic speeches which may make the Swedish government reconsider their trade offer. That said, the longer our troops can literally see their enemy from Copenhagen, and not do anything about it, the more resentment of Sweden will build amongst the rank and file, and even amongst officers of the Red Army.

The second problem is an other uprising in Finland. We had just about convinced the Swedish government that the first uprising was the work of German agitators, and that we had everything under control, and now we have to deal with another rebellion. Regardless of the truth of the matter, this will add fuel to the fire of those in the Swedish government who remain very sceptical of closer Soviet-Swedish cooperation. We may well fall out of favour again, especially if we can't quickly put a lid on the Finnish insugency. Considering the terrain, how spread out the rebellion is, and the limited forces available, a rapid resolution seems unlikely. I fear the relationship between our two nations is about to come under a lot of pressure from both sides. And that would work against our strategic interests.

FPF42-07-23-min.jpeg

The latest uprising in Finland. Again, the fingerprints of the illegitimate Finnish 'Government in exile' in Berlin are bound to be all over this. For now, we believe that the NKGBF should be able to deal with them, but it will take a lot of time. The VVS needs all it's aeroplanes to support the main front, so there will be no air campaign to deal with the insurgents this time around.

Our job will be to do our utmost to keep the Volfram flowing into the Soviet Union. Now that we hold Copenhagen, the transit agreement the Germans have is useless to them, so we've stopped putting pressure on the Swedes to revoke it. Of course, the ultimate goal would be to hae Sweden join the Comintern, and the war, in exchange for us giving them part of Norway, of course.”
SFA03_SFA022809120_X-min.jpg

Let's just hope our good diplomatic relations with Sweden and the Volfram that comes with it don't end up back underground.

In the morning, the atmosphere on the return train-ride to Lulea was significantly more tense. This wasn't helped by the fact that the return journey took 9 hours, as the train was laden with Volframite and Iron Ore. Nearly everyone was tired and irritated. I noticed Swedish Foreign Minister Westman yelling at Litvinov several times. Our own Foreign Minister managed to maintain his composure despite the insulting tirades. Luckily, the clandestine sale of Volfram was not the remit of the Foreign Minister alone, and the deal stands, for now. By the time we reached Lulea half the people on the train were asleep. It had been a long night.

KirunaStationClassOa-min.jpg

The train back to Lulea waits for it's passengers in Kiruna train station.​

SverigesJarnvagar1910-min.jpg

The railway that supplies half of Europe with high grade Iron Ore. Amongst other things.

None of all this tension and intrigue will make it into the newspapers, of course. Officially this trip was just about buying some regular Swedish steel that definitely won't be used for military purposes. Sweden proclaims itself to be a neutral country after all.

Considering the effort our diplomats went through and the shakiness of the current diplomatic situation, I do hope the Red Army takes maximum advantage of every gramme of Volfram we get. The German tank crews won't know what hit them, until their tank becomes a smouldering wreck, that is.

I'm off to catch a flight back to the motherland, I'm needed there. These are busy times, so much to be done, so little time, there is only one thing to be done, and that is to carry on,

'Odin'​

So, we managed to get Sweden close enough diplomatically to have access to their strategic resources Tungsten (+15% Hard Attack) and Ballbearings (repair speed +15%). Both are really quite useful bonuses. The fact that both the capture of Copenhagen, and a Finnish uprising happened within the same day is pure coincidence, though it's fun to speculate what the diplomatic fallout of these events could be. The Malmbanan (Iron Ore Line) still shifts monstrous quantities of Iron Ore from the mines around Kiruna to this day with purpose-built electric locomotives based on the German Br 103 platform, but with a lower top speed and more tractive effort.
 

Wraith11B

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A good coup. Unfortunately, no way to get the Swedes to withdraw their military access agreements, eh?
 

roverS3

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A good coup. Unfortunately, no way to get the Swedes to withdraw their military access agreements, eh?
Well, if we get them into the Comintern, they would be at war with the Axis. They can then deal with German forces in their territory however they see fit. There is no way to actually pressure them to withdraw the transit rights in-game. You can ask for transit rights, but you can't ask for some other country not to get transit rights... I guess they had to draw the line somewhere.
 

Bullfilter

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The Volvo B-10 bus, developed and produced in the 1930s and 1940s, it was used all around Sweden, and exported to several other European cities. I couldn't find detailed specs for this one online within the time I had available.
Oh, the shame! :eek::p:D
Copenhagen is ours! Let's start by drinking to that.” - as he said it, he filled both glasses.
За здоровье! (za zda-ró-vye)! :)
Copenhagen has fallen, but 13 Infanterie-Division, the thorn in our side for the entire operation has slipped the net to fight another day. Thanks to Sweden's 'neutrality'.
They straddle a barbed-wire fence at the moment ... o_O
The second problem is an other uprising in Finland.
Yuk -a rather large one, too. What a pain. Why can't they just stay invaded and repressed and be happy about it? :p
Of course, the ultimate goal would be to hae Sweden join the Comintern
Of course! Better to do it voluntarily than after being overrun. ;) Increases one's bargaining position greatly.
So, we managed to get Sweden close enough diplomatically to have access to their strategic resources Tungsten (+15% Hard Attack) and Ballbearings (repair speed +15%). Both are really quite useful bonuses.
Excellent news - that will be useful.
Well, if we get them into the Comintern, they would be at war with the Axis. They can then deal with German forces in their territory however they see fit.
Which would be even better. And if they needed a little help, I'm sure it could be provided. And would put our little foothold in Denmark in a far more viable position.
 

Wraith11B

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nuclearslurpee

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The first problem is what happened as our troops captured the city. You see, the German 13 Infanterie-Division, which gave us so much trouble throughout operation 'Aegir', fled across the strait to Malmö. As per their transfer agreement with Germany, the Swedes let them in, and let them keep their weapons. I'm sure Stalin is furious about this, but he certainly understands the importance of the Volfram contracts. He agreed to hold off on any vitriolic speeches which may make the Swedish government reconsider their trade offer. That said, the longer our troops can literally see their enemy from Copenhagen, and not do anything about it, the more resentment of Sweden will build amongst the rank and file, and even amongst officers of the Red Army.

The second problem is an other uprising in Finland. We had just about convinced the Swedish government that the first uprising was the work of German agitators, and that we had everything under control, and now we have to deal with another rebellion. Regardless of the truth of the matter, this will add fuel to the fire of those in the Swedish government who remain very sceptical of closer Soviet-Swedish cooperation. We may well fall out of favour again, especially if we can't quickly put a lid on the Finnish insugency. Considering the terrain, how spread out the rebellion is, and the limited forces available, a rapid resolution seems unlikely. I fear the relationship between our two nations is about to come under a lot of pressure from both sides. And that would work against our strategic interests.
Seems like this Swedish ore deal is a very temporary arrangement. The good news is, we only need so much ore, as the Germans do not have the industrial capability to permanently sustain their panzer production, at least not of their latest models such as the Pzr. V and VI. If we can build enough of the high-powered ammo, we should be able to cripple their tank forces before any real threat is posed, and from then on make do with the regular steel rounds to clean up the more obsolescent models.

Alternatively, the Volfram rounds should tide us over long enough to build and deploy bigger AT guns that can overpower Tigers by caliber alone. SU-152, anyone? :p

Well, if we get them into the Comintern, they would be at war with the Axis. They can then deal with German forces in their territory however they see fit. There is no way to actually pressure them to withdraw the transit rights in-game. You can ask for transit rights, but you can't ask for some other country not to get transit rights... I guess they had to draw the line somewhere.
If Sweden does join the Comintern, it may be worth tagging over and revoking the rights manually. I've seen some pretty obnoxious bugs resulting from a country DoWing another country through which they already have transit rights. :confused:
 

roverS3

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Oh, the shame! :eek::p:D
A shame indeed. I would like to point out that I did elaborate on the development of the SJ class O locomotives.

За здоровье! (za zda-ró-vye)! :)
Für die Gesundheit? Oh, right... a toast!
Yes, a toast. But more to the point "Für die Gesundheit?" do I detect a German sympathiser here?

They straddle a barbed-wire fence at the moment ... o_O
Yes, that special kind of fence-sitting that is particularly hazardous for your health.

Yuk -a rather large one, too. What a pain. Why can't they just stay invaded and repressed and be happy about it? :p
The problem is that government in exile with some German resources, they keep smuggling weapons to the rebels and coordinating the uprisings for maximum effect. If they just left the population of Finland alone, we'd only have to deal with the occasional local rebellion.

Of course! Better to do it voluntarily than after being overrun. ;) Increases one's bargaining position greatly.
Certainly. If they keep fence-sitting, at some point that blue blob in an ocean of red on the map is going to annoy Stalin enough for us to declare war.

Excellent news - that will be useful.
Yes, let's hope it lasts

Which would be even better. And if they needed a little help, I'm sure it could be provided. And would put our little foothold in Denmark in a far more viable position.
Yes, we could definitely provide some help, and that would probably be enough to evict the Germans from Norway. And yes, getting the Swedes on board would help our Danish territory.

Seems like this Swedish ore deal is a very temporary arrangement. The good news is, we only need so much ore, as the Germans do not have the industrial capability to permanently sustain their panzer production, at least not of their latest models such as the Pzr. V and VI. If we can build enough of the high-powered ammo, we should be able to cripple their tank forces before any real threat is posed, and from then on make do with the regular steel rounds to clean up the more obsolescent models.
Alternatively, the Volfram rounds should tide us over long enough to build and deploy bigger AT guns that can overpower Tigers by caliber alone. SU-152, anyone? :p
In theory, the Soviet Union would now stock up on Volfram as quickly as possible, buying way more than it's maximum daily usage. In game, the effect is an on-off switch, so when you're diplomatically close enough, your troops instantly have the better AT ammunition, and as soon as you drift apart, all that ammunition disappears.

If Sweden does join the Comintern, it may be worth tagging over and revoking the rights manually. I've seen some pretty obnoxious bugs resulting from a country DoWing another country through which they already have transit rights. :confused:
If it comes to that, I'll make sure to do so.
 

Wraith11B

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Yes, a toast. But more to the point "Für die Gesundheit?" do I detect a German sympathiser here?

My translator (or, Google) was in Russian to German... I brought the humor here.

In theory, the Soviet Union would now stock up on Volfram as quickly as possible, buying way more than it's maximum daily usage. In game, the effect is an on-off switch, so when you're diplomatically close enough, your troops instantly have the better AT ammunition, and as soon as you drift apart, all that ammunition disappears.

"Here you go chaps, we've produced enough to count for every round you're going to need... Oops, apparently our governments aren't aligned anymore, going to need to ask for that ammunition back. Unfired, if you please."
 
18th of July 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #203

roverS3

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The 28th of July 1942, Vologda, 5,6°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 19th and the 28th of July 1942,

by 'Odin'

Army:
9 KP and 10 KP have completed the transition from Motorised Cavalry to Armoured Cavalry, they are now fully equipped with GAZ-60 half-tracks and trained to fight in them. Once they have been suitably organised and reinforced, 24 KavD will rejoin Lt. General Korovnikov's I KK, 11ya Motorizovannaya Armiya, Armoured AG, STAVKA.
A brand new Motorised Rifle Division, 115 MSD (Motx3, Eng, TD), has been deployed to Biesankovicy, to the West of Vitsyebsk, where it will get organised before being sent to the front within 11ya Motorizovannaya Armiya, Armoured AG, STAVKA.

Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
Front line troops: 694 / 2.082.000
Support troops: 369 / 369.000
Total fighting troops: 1.063 / 2.451.000
Headquarters: 64 / 64.000
Total Army Personnel: 1.127 / 2.515.000
Officers: 104.793 + / 111.900 needed / 172 KIA / 93,810 % -
Active Leaders: 282 / 2 POW / 214 more available
The process of replacing lost units continues, both 3. Diviziya Opolcheniya (Garx3), 37. Diviziya Opolcheniya (Garx3), have started training.
19. Garnizon Diviziya (Garx3) has started training to replace Garrison units that were redeployed forwards to Bornholm, and Mythiléné.
Artillery production continues, with one more new Artillery Regiment, and two more support Brigades (Art, AT) for 3. DOp and 37. DOp (see above).
The first two brigades of Marines have started training, 1. and 2. Brigada Morskoy Pekhoty will eventually be integrated with 2 more brigades into a Marines Division.
Army Leadership:
Maj. General Sergatskov, SK2, WS (2 SD) found himself without a Division as panic set in amongst the ranks of 2 SD and the unit retreated the wrong way, and surrendered. He himself managed to make it to Lwow without being captured.
Maj. General Bakunin, SK2, Eng, who had managed to avoid getting captured along with his former unit, was placed in command of the newly deployed 115 MSD, 11ya Motorizovannaya Armiya, Arm AG, STAVKA.
Air Force:
124 newly delivered Yak-7 fighters have been deployed as 147 IAD-PVO, for now they will be held in reserve to replace losses in existing IADs.
Aeroplane Numbers (Wings/Planes):
Interceptors: 29 / 3.596
Multi-Role Fighters: 10 / 1.240
Close Air Support: 11 / 1.364
Carrier Air Groups: 8 / 496
Single Engined: 57 / 6.696
Tactical Bomber: 4 / 400
Strategic Bombers: 2 / 162
Total Bombers: 17 / 1.926
Transport Planes: 3 / 372
Total VVS: 58 / 7.134
Total Navy: 8 / 496
Total Aeroplanes: 66 / 7.636
Active Leaders: 23 / 27 Reserve
Production was switched to the navy variants of the La-7 and the Il-10, to continue furnishing the ranks of a new CAG, for which production and training had been put on hold.
No changes to VVS nor Navy Air Fleet leadership.​
Navy:
No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.​

Politics / International:
Sweden started aligning to the Axis again. The Allies then started their own influencing campaign. Our access to Swedish Tungsten and Ballbearings was lost today, after a mere days. Our diplomats continue their work in the hope that these are, once again, temporary setbacks.
Maksim Litvinov flew to Washington to extended a request to the government of the United States for Lend-Lease aid to be sent our way as we are clearly doing a lot more damage to the Axis than the British, even without Lend-Lease. US Secretary of State Alfred E. Smith has notified Konstantin Umansky, the Soviet Ambassador in Washington DC, that the matter will be brought before Congress, and voted on, in an emergency session tomorrow.

OTL, Umansky was replaced by Litvinov in 1941, but in this ATL Litvinov is Foreign Minister, so Umansky stayed in place.

Battle of Britain
The Air War shows no signs of slowing down.
14 aerial battles were fought over Portsmouth, with no bombers getting through. In Dover, the Luftwaffe continued it's bombing missions, flying 10 successful port strikes, being intercepted by the RAF 10 times after the bombs were dropped.
In Germany, Leipzig was bombed 6 times, with German fighters intercepting the bombers on the way there, and on the way back, over Dortmund, as well as 1 time over Leipzig and one time over Naumburg, just to the West of the target.
Other aerial fights happened over Northern France, with 12 battles over Lannion, 100km east of Brest, 6 battles over Nancy, 4 battles over Cherbourg, 4 battles over Paris, and 2 over Gamaches, south of Boulogne-sur-Mer, on the French Channel coast.
German submarines continued their strikes at American and British Lend-Lease convoys off the coast of Newcastle, sinking 10 vessels. Another 33 were sunk in the Atlantic (75 in total). British submarines and surface units sunk a total of 108 Axis freighters, of which 40 were sunk less than 150 km off the Norwegian coast. German trade still continues.
France
FRA42-07-28-min.jpeg

French resistance, bolstered with American weapons, commandos, and secret operatives, have risen up in Poitiers and in Sancoins. Another distraction for the Germans. 'Tri' was quick to point out we weren't the only ones dealing with uprisings due to foreign meddling.
Yugoslavia
YSF42-07-28-min.jpeg

The Yugoslav uprising in the Dubrovnik area expanded towards the West, into Herceg Novi and Cevo. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Axis will get it under control.
Athens - Greece
GRF42-07-18-min.jpeg
The British Motorised Division in Athina came under attack from the South, and Air support was called in. The RAF flew a total of 4 Ground Attack Missions on Napfolio.
North Africa Front:
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,2
Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,2
BNAF42-07-18-min.jpeg
Tobruch proved to be a stumbling block for the British Army's advance in Libya. There were no further advances on the ground for the last 10 days.
12 Bombing missions on Tobruch were flown, probably by bombers based in El Iskandarîya. Still no significant response from the Regia Aeronautica.
2 Italian Freighters were sunk by the Royal Navy, to the West of Sicily.
British convoy losses around Madeira continue to make trouble for the Merchant Navy. Axis submarines, based out of Italian-held ports on the Atlantic coast of Morocco sunk 32 British merchant vessels.
The RN Coastal Naval Command continued it's Port Strikes on Tunis Harbour, flying another 20 missions. The only reason for this many attacks is that significant fleet units of the Regia Marina are located there. Nothing was sunk, but heavy damage to port facilities, and to RM units is assumed.
The RAF continued to try bombing Firenze, with little success. The Malta-based Halifaxes were intercepted 4 times, every time before they could reach the target.

No naval encounters.
South East Asia Front
United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,8
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,3
Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,1
Netherlands, France, Philippines (Government in Exile)
SEAF42-07-18_1-min.jpeg
The Japanese advances on both Sumatra and Java, ground to a halt. No further ground was taken here.
SEAF42-07-28-min.jpeg

The first IJN landing force, landing on the Eastern coast of Borneo, right on the border between British-held and Dutch-held areas, was defeated.
A second IJN landing to the South of Tarakan will likely fare better, as the Dutch infantry unit that was holding the city seems to have been shattered by IJN Airpower. Japanese CAGs flew a total of 23 bombing raids on the city. Sadly Dutch Fokker D.XXI monoplane fighters (a fictitious version with a RR Merlin Engine) based in Manado don't have the range to reach the Tarakan area. Fokker TV tactical bombers do have the range, and they did manage to fly a single ground attack mission on Salimau.
Allied Aeroplanes, probably CAG from a British Carrier, flew a Port Strike on Puerto Princesa, nothing was sunk in port.

Convoy Raiding continued at a high rate, with 74 Japanese freighters adorning the seabed, and a whopping 207 Allied merchant vessels sent to the bottom.
Allied navies struck back, attempting to disrupt IJN operations in the area, attacking Japanese convoy raiding fleets on 23 occasions. 20 Allied raids on enemy convoys came under fire from the IJN. Once again, it is the Allied navies who lost out in these engagements.
The Royal Navy lost the Heavy Cruiser HMS Frobisher to Akagi's dive-bombers, and the Light Cruiser HMS Leander, to Nagato's 406mm guns.
Top left, HMS Frobisher, a 10.000 tonne Hawkins-Class Cruiser commissioned in 1924.Her main armament consisted of 7 BL 7,5" Mk.VI Naval guns in single mounts. The secondary armament consisted of 3 QF 4" Mk.V guns (anti-ship and anti-air), QF 3" 20 cwt Mk.I guns (AA), and 2 QF 2 pdr guns (AA), all on high single mounts. 2 submerged, and 4 above-water fixed 21" torpedo tubes completed it's armament. 10 Yarrow-type Oil-fired boilers coupled with geared steam turbines provided 70.000 shp, which was delivered through 4 propellers. The Armour was nothing to write home about. A 3" main belt that tapered off to 1.5" at the extremities of the vessel, 1-1,5" deck armour and 2" gun shields. The combination of engines, hull shape, and relatively light armour, gave the ship a top speed of 31 knots. The 1,5" deck armour proved insufficient against modern IJN bombs, and the modest Anti-Aircraft armament was insufficient to keep the CAGs away.
Top right, HMS Leander, lead ship of the Leander-class of 8 7.250 tonne Light Cruisers, she was commissioned in 1933. OTL she was loaned to the RNZN from 1937 onwards, but ATL she stayed in the Royal Navy. Her Main armament was made up of 8 BL 6" Mk.XXIII Naval guns in 4 twin turrets, two fore, and two aft. 4 QF 4" Mk.V guns (anti-ship and anti-air) in single mounts and 12 QF 0,5" Mk.III Vickers Machine-guns (AA) in quad mounts provided some more firepower. 2 quad 21" torpedo launches completed the armament, allowing it to launch the same 21" Mk.IX torpedos as Frobisher. 6 3-drum boilers provided 72.000 shp, propelling the vessel to a top speed of 32.5 knots. Armour was almost none-existent, the deck and turrets were 1" thick, and the magazines were protected by 3", and that was it. Way too little, it would turn out, to stop the 406mm shells fired by Nagato.
Ships42-07-28-min.jpg

Bottom left, Narval, a Requin-Class submarine of the Marine Nationale. The Requin class were Diesel-electric attack submarines. They displaced 1.150 tonnes surfaced, and over 1.400 tonnes submerged. They were armed with 550mm torpedoes, fired through 10 tubes, as well as a 100mm deck gun, and a pair of 8mm machine guns. The 2 Swiss-built Schneider Diesel engines produced 2.900 hp, allowing for a speed of 15 knots, on the surface. A pair of electric motors producing 1.320 kW (1.800 hp) propelled the vessels to a submerged top speed of 9 knots. The submerged range was 70 nm at 5 knots.
Bottom right, Nagato, over 32.000 tonnes of Leander-sinking battleship commissioned in 1920. Over the years, she went through several reconstructions, including the reshaping and lengthening of both bow and stern to improve sea-keeping and reduce spray, and the addition of a pagoda-style mast. The post-1937 version has a main armament of 8 406 mm (16") guns in 4 twin turrets, 20 single 14 cm/50 (5,5") guns in barbettes, and 4 single 76 mm (3") AA guns. The armour layout is excellent, with a main belt up to 12" thick, a 3.9" armoured deck, 18,1" of armour on the main turrets, and 18" armour for the barbettes. Power is provided by 10 water-tube boilers putting out 80.000 hp through 4 shafts. This gives Nagato, in the current configuration, a top speed of 25 knots. HMS Leander would be very lucky to penetrate the armour of Nagato with it's puny 6" guns.
The Marine Nationale lost a flotilla of submarines 15 FSM, to Japanese Destroyers. This leaves the French Navy with only two remaining Submarine Flotilla's. Our intelligence report from Hanoi, also mentions the fact that their brand new 1 FCT (DD), made up of state of the art Suffren-class Destroyers, is rebasing to somewhere in French West-Africa, where it will no-doubt join the rest of the French fleet in doing absolutely nothing useful for the Allied War effort.
Pacific Front
All quiet here, there continues to be no substantial US involvement in the war save for massive amounts of lend-lease to the UK.
37 Axis convoys were sunk by the USN off the Pacific coast of North America, and another 11 to the south of Cuba.

Industry:
Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 233 (-2) / 425 (-3) Finnish insurgents have taken Kuopoi (1 IC). The Germans have taken Jelgava (1 IC). Despite having captured Copenhagen's factories intact, it is taking some time to put them to work for the war effort.
Level 5 fortifications were completed in Leningrad, work has started on Level 6.

IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
Upgrades: 115,70 / 116,55
Reinforcement: 34,60 / 34,67 - The need for reinforcements varies wildly but remains over 20 IC.
Supplies: 59,50 / 58,47 + Supply needs have increased due to the fight against insurgents in Finland.
Production: 189,70 / 187,71 +
Consumer Goods: 25,50 / 25,50
Stockpiles:
Energy: Maximum tonnes +
Metal: 98.822 tonnes -
Rares: 48.700 tonnes +
Crude: 97.513 cubic metres -
Supplies: 30.132 tonnes -
Fuel: 93.913 barrels -
Money: 1.352 +​

Intelligence:
Spy numbers, spies in (active / added / lost / caught by us)
France (Supporting our Party / Counterespionage): 5 / 0 / 0 / 0
{ Germany (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }
{ Japan (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 }
{ UK (/) : 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​
Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 1
Reserves: 6
Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,38 (a new spy every 17 days)
Another Japanese Spy was caught red-handed in the Soviet Union. He claimed, of course, to be an innocent businessman.

Research:
A new and better Small Navigation Radar (Level 2) for our small aeroplanes should allow our regiments of single-engine aeroplanes to better spot targets on the ground, or in the water. The biggest beneficiaries of this technology should be our CAGs and our Assault Bomber formations, the former attacking ships, and the latter neutralising tanks.
The VVS now shifts it's research focus to the development of a Large Bomb (Level 1) that can only be carried by our heaviest bombers and will make our logistical strikes significantly more effective.

Leadership distribution:
Research: 19,67 (+0,17)
Espionage: 0,38 =
Diplomacy: 2,10 (+0,01)
Officers: 12,00 = (72 Officers/day)
Total: 34,15 (+0,18) Occupation of Copenhagen.
A number of Danish scientists and diplomats was happy to work to help the Soviet Union fight their former occupier. Especially since we are being rather flexible in our own occupation. (Collaboration Government, we need all the leadership we can get...)

Statistics:
National Unity: 83,243 +
Neutrality: 0,00 =
Dissent: 0,00 =
Manpower:
Available: 2.172.000 (-49.000) Training new Garrison Divisions uses up manpower like little else, save for the GPW...
Men To reinforce(need): 14.800
Men To mobilise(need): See above
Monthly gain: 71.500 Men + (1 fully mobilised Infx3, Art, AT Division every 5,3 days)​
No changes in Party Popularity nor Party Organisation
This Information is accurate on the morning of the 28th of July 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

'Odin'​
 

Bullfilter

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Battle of Britain
The Air War shows no signs of slowing down.
This is of course very useful, keeping the Luftwaffe (slabs of it anyway) heavily engaged in the West.
Nagato, over 32.000 tonnes of Leander-sinking battleship
:eek: Not what the Captain of the Leander would have wanted to see from the bridge that fateful day.
 

roverS3

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My translator (or, Google) was in Russian to German... I brought the humor here.
German humour? Don't make me laugh. (I actually do quite enjoy German satire.)

"Here you go chaps, we've produced enough to count for every round you're going to need... Oops, apparently our governments aren't aligned anymore, going to need to ask for that ammunition back. Unfired, if you please."
Seems about right.

This is of course very useful, keeping the Luftwaffe (slabs of it anyway) heavily engaged in the West.
Yes, it is. I think we might be able to face the full might of the Luftwaffe, but I'd rather not find out the hard way we can't. And while the luftwaffe isn't engaging our bombers too often, the VVS can keep up a high rate of bombing raids. If the Luftwaffe shifts all it's fighters to the eastern front, we would get a lot less bombing in, not to mention the amount of planes we'd have to replace and repair.

:eek: Not what the Captain of the Leander would have wanted to see from the bridge that fateful day.
It would definitely be scary to suddenly notice you're inside the firing range of Nagato's main guns. Not many live to tell the tale, least of all those on board Light Cruisers. The Leander is fast, but 406mm shells are faster still...
 
1st of August 1942: Helsingör: Lend-Lease and Coastal Fortification.

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The 1st of August 1942, Helsingör, 13,9°C, 4 pm Moscow Time

'Tri' and myself decided to invite most of the Secret Committee on a business trip to the Soviet Union's new Danish territory, for more than just sightseeing. 'Piat', and 'Devyat' were already down there, but 'Tri', 'Chteyre', 'Sem', 'Vosem', and myself flew to Copenhagen overnight, along with people's Commissar of Armament Boris L. Vannikov. Of course, the Commissar's Li-2 was escorted by 4 La-7s providing some protection, as well as a second Li-2 to confuse potential attackers. The four of us had the decoy plane all to ourselves, with 'Chteyre' flying the aeroplane. On the way there, 'Tri' explained the purpose of the trip to the others. The US congress voted in favour of providing Lend-Lease aid to the Soviet Union on the 29th of July. A top secret meeting has been called in Helsingör, to the north of Copenhagen, to flesh out the details of the deal: How much aid can be expected? In what form the aid would the aid be most useful? How will this aid be shipped to the Soviet Union?

Copenhagen_Airport-min.jpg

Copenhagen Airport, built in 1925, and one of the busiest Airports in Europe before the war, now a VVS Air Base with the occasional passenger flight, and the temporary base of two Soviet Paratrooper Divisions.

After landing at 6am, the decoy aeroplane went straight into a maintenance hangar, built just before the war to service KLM's DC-3's on the Amsterdam-Copenhagen route. We got out of the aeroplane, all of us dressed in our best mid-level apparatchik attire, except for 'Tri' who had donned his best high-level apparatchik attire. He fit in best as a top level diplomat, so this was his show, at least in appearance. Inside the hangar, 'Devyat' was waiting for me, he sat in a red and black BMW 326 Cabriolet, with the top down. The doors of the hangar were slightly ajar, we all walked to the gap to see what was going on in front of the main terminal. Three ZiS-101s were parked near the passenger terminal, flanked by 2 NKVD GAZ-M1s. Two of the ZiS-101s were black, official-looking and nondescript, the third one had clear Red Army markings and was a dark green colour. Looking around, 'Chteyre' remarked with glee that, except for the area between the apron and the terminal, most of the Air Base was cluttered with all sorts of VVS aeroplanes. Hundreds of Yak-7 and La-7 fighters, as well as over 100 Li-2 transports. The perimeter of the Airport and adjoined Air Base were strongly guarded by elite Soviet Paratroopers.

The People's Commissar of Armament had gotten out of his Lisunov shortly after it stopped right in front of the passenger terminal. He went to join the other officials present. I recognised Lt. General Feudiuninski, commander of XXXIII SK, now based out of Copenhagen. Aksel Larsen, leader of the now resurrected Danish Communist Party, and of the recently proclaimed Denmark SSR of the Soviet Union (for now). Maj. General Briukov of 2 VDD was there too, along with a small honour guard of VDV. They were all awaiting our guest.

Escorted by 4 Yak-7's, the Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express VIP transport, also known as “Guess Where II”, flew in from the North before landing at 6:30 and parking right in front of the reception committee. The aeroplane had taken off from US-controlled Reykjavik, over occupied Norway, in the middle between Trondheim and Bergen, and turned due south once in Swedish Airspace. Only after the aeroplane left Swedish Airspace again, was it escorted by our Yak-7's. It seems the secret service was confident there were no Luftwaffe units ready to scramble to intercept in Southern Norway. Considering the recent intensification of Luftwaffe activity over the eastern front, and the continuation of the Aerial part of the Battle of Britain, it's not unthinkable that German fighters have been pulled away from places like Norway. Once the transport, derived from the B-24 strategic bomber, came to a halt squarely in front of the terminal, the US Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau Jr., exited the aeroplane. The man shortly and energetically shook the hand of Commissar Vannikov. They both entered the same waiting ZiS-101, Morgenthau's staff got into the second one, and the vehicular convoy set itself in motion. Suddenly, a GAZ-M1 rounded the corner of the maintenance hangar, and stopped right in front of the door. 'Tri', 'Sem', and 'Chteyre' all quickly jumped into the back seat, with 'tri' simply stating:

“Be at Copenhagen Central Station at 9:45, my driver will pick you up.”​

GuessWhereIIConsolidatedC-87-min.jpg

The Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express was the transport variant of the B-24 bomber. One C-87 was fitted out as a presidential aeroplane, under the call sign 'Guess Where II'. It was never used by Roosevelt. There was some fear the enemy, or a nervous neutral nation, might mistake it for a B-24, and shoot it down. The president used various DC-3s, until the DC-4 was produced, at which point one DC-4 was specially kitted out as the very first 'Air Force One'. 'Guess Where II' was used by several members of his cabinet, though. Considering the Lend-Lease deal is still hush-hush, and that the
British weren't invited to this preliminary meeting (They're not giving us any aid, so why would they), it would make sense for the Treasury Secretary to sail to Iceland, and then to fly direct from there to Copenhagen, a C-87 can make that trip, a C-47 can't.

The GAZ-M1 sped off to join the convoy on it's way out of the air base. The remaining dignitaries, who had been part of the reception committee, but hadn't been invited to the meeting, dispersed, except for Maj. General Briukov of 2 VDD, who was intently looking over the American aeroplane, probably wondering whether he could fit more paratroopers into a C-87 than he could fit in an Li-2. Two rather stern-looking US Marines were guarding the door of the aeroplane, making it impossible to have a look inside, unless he wanted to start a major diplomatic incident. He eventually returned to his office inside the terminal.

BMW326cabrio-min.jpg

The BMW 326 was put into production in 1936. It was powered by a BMW 2 litre overhead valve I6 engine putting out ca. 50hp, which was mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox. The common saloon version weighed in at 1.100 kg, the 2-door convertible being lighter still. The aerodynamic shape helped increase both fuel efficiency and top speed, which was a heady 115 km/h. Torsion bar rear suspension gave the car excellent handling characteristics for the time, and hydraulic brakes meant it stopped rather quickly (when compared to drum brakes). In short, it wasn't a very large car, at only 2,87m long, but it was a zippy one.

'Devyat' motioned to the BMW:

“Let's get going.”​

Korsor1909_-min.jpg

Korsör
in 1909, a nice little coastal town, just to the East of Slagelse (within the same province in game). Today (2020) the 18km long 'Great Belt Bridge' bridge and tunnel complex (Linking the islands of Zealand and Sprögo) dominates the view. This mastodont of a road and Rail bridge and tunnel complex took 10 years (1988-1998), and over 1,8 Billion in today's USD, to build. The longest bridge is almost 7km long. In any case, it is the obvious point to attack across the Great Belt Strait, and thus the obvious point to start building coastal fortifications to prevent such an attack.

'Devyat' took the scenic route, along the coast to Köge, before turning due west to Slagelse, and then on to Korsör. Along the way, we passed several SU-100 tank-destroyers, before arriving at 7:30am. We had breakfast in the village, and then went on a walk in the dunes, from where we could just barely see the coast near Odense on the horizon. There had been an attempt at crossing the strait by Italian around 6am, but the first few boats had been blown out of the water by our riflemen, and the rest had wisely returned to the island of Sprögo. Our thousands of riflemen were dug in in makeshift trenches facing the beach, but that was about to change. 'Devyat' showed me the blueprint for the construction of small coastal Machine-Gun bunkers, protecting our MG-squads from enemy land-based and naval artillery. He said that now that the construction in Khabarovsk was complete, resources were available for the project. And the work was starting today, as we could tell by the presence of workers and engineers going along the coast, methodically marking the footprint, of each of the bunkers that will be constructed, with string.

BunkerWestwallStandard-min.jpg

A plan of a typical small coastal bunker of the time. This is a German design, as I was unable to locate a Soviet one. The drawing is by Enrico Kanis.

I had seen and heard all I needed, and left 'Devyat' to continue to inspect the work and chat with the engineers. He dropped me at the Slagelse station at 9am, before returning to the construction site. I boarded a very modern, and very red, MS-AA-MS express diesel train. Before, the Soviet Union took over here, these units would go straight from Copenhagen to destinations in Jutland, being brought across the big belt strait on a ferry. Of course,the ferry route is closed, and thus the furthest this unit can go is Copenhagen-Slagelse, or alternatively, Copenhagen-Nyköbing. As I got off the train at Copenhagen Central Station at 9:45am, a pair of Danish policemen were stopped me. I quickly whipped out my cover's credentials, and they simply said:

“We know who you are sir, we are to escort you to your car.”​

CopenhagenCentralStation52-min.jpg

The main hall of Copenhagen Central Station. Designed by Architect Heinrich Wench, and built in 1911, the station counted 7 platforms and 13 tracks and a whole host of amenities and shops. The current (both in 1942, and in 2020) station was built to replace a previous building dating back to 1864 as part of an overhaul of the station approach, including the construction of a new tunnel.
Bottom right: The Litra MS aka MS-AA-MS was a three-car diesel-electric multiple unit. The middle car is not powered, the two other cars have 2 Frichs 6,2 litre engines each, all 4 of which deliver 250 hp at 500 rpm. The four electric traction engines are spread throughout the train's four bogies. (the middle car sharing bogies 2 and 3 with the other two cars.) In total the unit could transport 120 seated people (84 in 2nd class, 36 in first class) up to a top speed of 120 km/h. 5 units were built from 1935 onwards, but one burnt down in 1938, so in 1942, 4 units remain in service (at least one of them in Soviet-occupied Zealand.). Before the war, and to a lesser extent during it, they were used as express trains, linking Copenhagen to Aarhus. It is pictured here leaving Copenhagen Central Station.

This had to be 'Tri's doing. Just outside the station, the same GAZ-M1 that had spirited away 'Tri' was waiting for me. I thanked the policemen, an got in. The driver didn't say a word, he stepped on it as soon as I got in, and whisked me to Helsingör, more precisely to the Kronborg, the castle of the king of Denmark, Christian X.

Kronborg_Helsingör-min.jpg

Kronborg, the inspiration for Elsinore (the castle in Hamlet). The origins of the building can be traced back all the way to the 1420s, when a fortress was built by Danish kin Eric of Pommerania. Bastions were added on the corners, and subsequently reinforced in the latter half of the 16th century. The South wing also gained a floor during this period, and the roof was covered in copper sheeting. In 1629, the whole thing burned down, except for the chapel, and by 1939, the exterior had been rebuilt, without any major changes to it, though the interior was a little more modest than it had been before the fire. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. If I ever go to Zealand, I'll be sure to visit it, it looks great. The Soviet Flag was inserted by yours truly into an early 20th century photograph.

'Tri' was waiting for me in the courtyard, and I soon followed him inside. He had secured a rather lavish office for himself. I took a seat in one of a pair of comfortable armchairs, and 'Tri' started his exposé.

“Let's start with where we are. Look at this place. Yes, the meetings on American Lend-Lease for the Soviet Union are being held in the palace of the king of Denmark, who still lives there, in his royal apartment in the North wing. The king may become a problem in the future, but right now, with most of his country in German hands, and a very mild occupation regime on the Soviet side, his main goal is to get the Germans out. We have offered him a plane-ride to Stockholm or London, but he refuses to leave what he believes to be 'his' country. Unlike the Norwegian Royal family, which fled to London, he himself stayed in Denmark after the German invasion, and again, after our revolutionary liberation, this despite our well-known policies regarding aristocracy. Of course, while the war is ongoing, we need all the help we can get, and if the king can motivate the Copenhagen intelligentsia to help us fight the Germans, then we'll take it, and leave him in place as long as he's useful. He continues to ride his horse through Copenhagen every single day. In any case, he's not my problem any more, as he's no longer a foreign head of state.

To the matter at hand. The Americans are extending us a loan of 1 billion dollars, to be repaid after the war. That's the equivalent of 903 tonnes of gold at current exchange rates. It's almost impossible to calculate how much that is in roubles exactly, but it's a lot. In any case, we won't be seeing any of the money in cash, it's all about what we buy with it. A trade route is being set up as we speak, between Boston and Leningrad. All the freighters on the route will be manned by Soviet crews. For now, they will be pulled from our strategic freighter reserve in Leningrad. Both the Americans, and Stalin, have attached a number of conditions to the loan:

First. there's the convoy escort ships. When they found out we had no convoy escort ships to speak off, they explicitly put the purchase of 10 flotillas of US-built escort vessels in the terms of the loan. We're not getting out of that one, and we'll also have to crew those ships, and use them to protect the freighters on the Boston-Leningrad route.

Second. we can only use the money to buy stuff they're offering. If we want anything else they're producing we'll have to go through diplomatic channels and get approval from the US Congress, as well as pay a small fee. I know right, capitalists, even when they help you, they still find a way to make you pay for what you really want.

Third, and this one was Stalin's doing. At least half of the imports are to be consumables or purely logistical in nature. Things like rations, ammunition, medical supplies, lorries (outside of Mot units), railway carriages, locomotives, consumer goods etc. Considering how much we spend on those things, that's definitely doable, and imports of such a magnitude will free up some of our own production capacity for the production of more weapons.

Finally, there are stipulations for a certain number of US liaison officers and US Military attachés to come to the Soviet Union, and to be granted limited access to the front. The idea being that this will spark closer coordination between the US and the USSR in the fight against the Axis.

'Sem' here has calculated that the current arrangement pays for, and provides shipping for, the production of between 115 and 120 1936 Industrial Complex equivalents (117 IC) over the course of a year. That should give a good guideline to the Committee on what could be ordered, both from our own industry, and from the Americans. Of course, 60 IC will go into consumables and railway carriages and the like.

A catalogue of what is on offer right now. 'Dva' and 'Chteyre' have already gone through it and added some annotations. Anything marked 'Inferior' to something we are producing will not even be considered. It should also be noted that not all of these are the best the US can produce. This is what they're willing to part with at discount prices repayable after the war. If we want their best stuff instead, we'll have to get special permission through diplomatic channels, and if we do get that, we'll have to send them something of value in return, probably gold or rare minerals.”

LendLease-min.jpg

A visual summary of the catalogue's contents. Some notes have been added in red by 'Dva' and 'Chteyre'.
As everyone had already seen the catalogue, except for myself, I quickly thumbed through it before moving on.

"Gentlemen, your thoughts, what should we get, and what should we add to the queue?”​

'Dva' was the first to speak, explaining the Red Army's view on the matter.

“We have two big issues concerning the current situation:​

The first is the officer ratio. We're training 72 officers per day, and we're having trouble keeping up with losses in the field and the new units already in the pipeline. I'm sure 'Vosem' is more on top of this than I am, but we also don't have much scope to increase officer training, lest we fall behind in technology and doctrines.

The second is keeping existing units supplied, the infrastructure is limited, and despite significant improvements in recent years, we're struggling to keep up.

Our armoured forces have now reached the front, and they are having the desired effect. If we want to significantly increase pressure on the main front, we really have two options:

The first is to train a lot of new Rifle Divisions to strengthen our defences. That should allow our Tanks to move more freely, at least in theory. The main sticking point with this plan is the massive amount of officers we would need to run these Rifle Divisions. Supply would probably not be too adversely affected.

The second option is to train fewer, more powerful units. Tank Divisions, Armoured Cavalry, some Motorised Rifle Units. This would not increase the need for officers quite so dramatically, but it would increase the need for supplies, and especially fuel significantly. We're not about to buy inferior American tanks, even if we only have to pay for them after the war, not to mention the fact they don't even know how to build half-tracks.

Therefore, I would like to suggest we produce units for another, future, front. Preferably expensive and mobile units. Those Studebaker 6x6s look great, I would definitely not mind seeing a few Motorised Rifle Divisions equipped with those, as long as we don't deploy to many of them on the main front. The Balkans in particular, are ripe for a second front south of Romania. We're seeing more and more Bulgarian units on the main front, meaning that Bulgaria itself is only lightly guarded. For maximum effect there, we would need to rapidly deploy a bunch of motorised units, as soon as a bridgehead and a port of supply are secured. Adding in some mountaineers we can pull from the Turkish border, and a Rifle Corps we can pull from the reserves could make that a real thorn in the Axis Side. Of course, training some more Marines would also be helpful for the initial stages of such an operation.

Norway is also an option, but Mountaineers would probably be more useful there than Motorised units, and Mountaineers require a lot of officers.

As a footnote I should add that per the recent policy of replacing lost Rifle Divisions with an Opolcheniye unit (Gar) as quickly as possible, we should start training another Opolcheniye Division to replace 2 SD, possibly equipping them with Tommy guns and BARs. But that' only represents a small fraction of the allotted aid.”​

LLGuns_42-08-01-min.jpg

Besides the vehicles and aeroplanes, Thompson M1928A1 sub-machine guns and BAR M1918A2 Automatic Rifles were also available for purchase. Not quite good enough for our regulars, but cheap enough for them to be used by Partisans, Opolcheniye, and Garrison troops.

As soon as 'Dva' was done talking, 'Shest' started talking:

“If I may, those tommy guns and BARs are really quite cheap, we could train some agents, and send them behind enemy lines to set up partisan cells. If we arm them with American weapons, the Germans may get confused as to why they're dealing with US-funded and -controlled partisans so far to the East, any additional confusion Partisans can cause is always welcome. Only a relatively small part of the ca. 55 IC in weapons would be required to start up Partisan training, I estimated about 8 IC in Thompsons and BARs should allow for us to train and supply two partisan cells at the same time. Ideally, I would really like to get 'Odinatsat' to lead this training, at least initially, as she has more experience and training in modern partisan operations than anyone in the GRU or Red Army. If that means we delay the programme a couple of months until we get her on board, so be it.

On that note, have any of you heard anything about 'Odinatsat'. I've temporarily lost contact with my operatives who were watching over her. I'm a bit worried.”​

There was no answer forthcoming. Eventually 'Chteyre' decided to start talking about the Aeroplanes on offer:

“These aeroplanes are all about on par with our own offerings, despite the fact that my sources tell me they are using more advanced Aircraft in their own Air force, at least in some roles. I'd wager that's not a coincidence, and they are hesitant to give up their edge in certain areas. The latest version of the P-39 looks about on par with the Yak-7s, and with their own P-51s. We could order 124 of them to test them out in combat, but for now, we have enough Interceptors to deal with any Axis intrusions in our Airspace. The Tactical and Naval Bombers they're offering are no better than our Yak-4s, and they're getting old, so I wouldn't advocate ordering any of those. I would advocate for negotiating the purchase of some of their more advanced designs, even if we have to pay for them.

In short, to really help the VVS drop more bombs on the enemy, especially their tanks, we should order A-20s. They are more expensive than Il-10s, but we need fewer of them per Assault Aviation Division to drop the same amount of bombs, so it evens out. Additionally, we could order P-47s as escorts, they're about on par with our La-7s. The Luftwaffe is getting more active over the Eastern Front, and even if we always answer with swarms of Yak-7s and shoot a lot of them down, they can put a Bombardment Corps, or Assault Corps, out of action for a few days, especially if the Germans hit them whilst they are bombing a target. A few more reserve Assault Aviation Corps would allow us to maintain missions continuously, even if several ShAKs get intercepted over their targets, by simply rotating in fresh units.

An alternative, or an addition, to this strategy would be to order B-17s and set up a second Heavy Bomber Aviation Corps. That would allow us to intensify our Logistical Bombing campaign, do some runway cratering, or even do some Strategic Bombing over Germany. I would like to point out that the VVS has plenty of officers, and that adding aeroplanes won't affect the supply situation near the front as units can be relocated far to the rear when they are rotated out for repairs and reorganisation. The B-17s, with their long range, can be based far from the front, and will thus be easier to supply as well.

There is also a small final point, and that is that we could really use an additional Air Base somewhere in Western Ukraine, between Vynnitsya, Kyiv, and Lwow, as we cannot count on Stanislawow remaining in Soviet hands continuously.”​

'Piat' looked conflicted:

“I'm a bit disappointed, they're not even offering any Destroyers. Corvettes for escort duty are nice, but some half-modern Destroyers would really flesh out the Red Navy. That said, the Navy could really use some more CAGs, and the trio of the Devastor, the Dauntless, and the Grumman, they are offering, is really on par with our own carrier-based aeroplanes. Whether we build more ourselves, or order them from the yanks, the Navy could reduce it's downtime and be more daring with it's aeroplanes if it had some more reserve CAGs. As for what they Navy could be doing for the war effort? We could really use some more Marines too, those would allow us to do some Island-hopping in the Eastern Med, or to more effectively start off seaborne invasions, be it in Norway, the Balkans, Denmark, or somewhere else. The two Brigades of Marines in training now won't even be sufficient for a modest island-hopping campaign. Two more Brigades would give us a nice square Division, or two binary Divisions, giving us some flexibility. Ideally, of course, we would like 4 square Divisions of Marines, one for each transport flotilla. Speaking of transports, even if they don't want to give us warships, or state of the art landing craft, maybe the Americans would be willing to give us some good old fashioned basic transport ships? My sources say they're pumping out freighters at a crazy rate over there, they're calling them 'Liberty Ships', just a fraction of their production could increase our sea-lift capacity significantly. “​

Now, 'Vosem', who had been listening quietly, stood to speak:

“All very interesting, this American gift opens up quite some potential to expand the scope of the war. That said, I would like to suggest something, maybe a bit out of left field, but which may be necessary to keep pace with our enemy over the coming years. I'm talking about building a Rocket Test Facility with less than half of the 60 IC we save thanks to US supplies etc. Our rocket scientists have hit a bit of a dead end in their research, and with such a facility, they would be able to further explore all sorts of exciting new possibilities. My sources within the academic community tell me that Germany has already built such a site, so the idea that they could come up with some revolutionary new weapons before us is not just speculation, it is a probability. As much as we need to keep fighting today's war, we also need to look ahead, and prepare to fight next year's war, and next decade's war too, be it this war or the next.”​

This is when 'Devyat' arrived at the end, and was lead into the room, having not heard any of the other proposals, he was nevertheless willing to make his own suggestions:

“I realise this may not be the most exciting way to use our newfound production capacity, but I would like to suggest doubling, if not tripling, the Infrastructure budget, at least for now. We could improve the flow of supplies to and from the front significantly with additional investment, as well as expand existing projects towards possible future fronts. I'm talking about the railway along the Swedish border, which would be useful in case we start fighting in the Narvik Area without Swedish support. The Trans-siberian railway could also use a boost, allowing us to field more troops against the Japanese in case they attack, without having to rely on long and vulnerable seaborne supply at all. Additionally, we could also expand on fortification works. A few cities could use some extra fortification within the next half-year, especially on the main second line of defence. Tallin, Vitsyebsk, Kyiv, Odessa, Kryvyy Rih, Dnipopetrovsk all come to mind. Those locations as they currently have only the most basic Machine Gun bunkers in the way of fortifications. Unless you all believe the Germans will never reach it and are willing to bet the future of the Soviet Union on that belief, improving their defences should definitely be on the table.”​

With everyone properly riled up and making plans, it comes to me, and comrade Stalin to balance all these various proposals and demans. A couple of questions come to mind:

To Rocket Test Site, or not to Rocket Test Site?

How much do we care about the officer ratio? Do we order only a few ground units, or do we simply assume it will work itself out?

Do we prepare for war in Norway, or war in the Balkans? (or Denmark)

Do we really need that many Marines? Is island hopping in the Med even worth it?

Should we focus further VVS investment on long range logistical bombing, or on close-range ground attacks, or should we bite the bullet, and build Tac?

Production42-08-01-min.jpg

The production queue on the 1st of August, for reference. Below are the IC requirements for the production of lend-lease vehicles and aeroplanes that are under consideration for purchase. In total, about 60 IC of our own industry will become available, and 55 IC of the american Lend-Lease will go towards new production in the US, the fruits of which will be shipped to the Soviet Union:

CAG (F4F/SBD/TBD): 8,21 / 168 days

INT (P-39): 10,89 / 122 days

FTR (P-47): 11,07 / 125 days

CAS (A-20): 8,11 / 150 days

TRA (C-47): 12,42 / 108 days

STR (B-17): 10,89 / 222 days

MOT (US6 6x6): 4,22 / 90 days

SPART (M12): 6,21 / 111 days​

The increased capacity represents almost a doubling of IC available for production, I welcome any and all proposals pertaining as to what exactly we should be producing/ordering on top of current efforts. A decision will have to be made by noon tomorrow so the shipments, and the new production, can start. The GPW report will, of course, be published by 6pm as usual.

Uncle Sam is offering us free goodies, the crux lies in choosing the right ones.

I still have some work to do on the GPW report, though I have a feeling things will seem just a little less gloomy with those USSR-bound shipments from Uncle Sam in the back of my mind, together we will destroy the Axis for ever,

'Odin'​
 

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The Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express was the transport variant of the B-24 bomber. One C-87 was fitted out as a presidential aeroplane, under the call sign 'Guess Where II'. It was never used by Roosevelt. There was some fear the enemy, or a nervous neutral nation, might mistake it for a B-24, and shoot it down. The president used various DC-3s, until the DC-4 was produced, at which point one DC-4 was specially kitted out as the very first 'Air Force One'. 'Guess Where II' was used by several members of his cabinet, though.
Loved the extra detail there in the origins of AF1: I’d never heard that before, that I can recall.

'Devyat' took the scenic route,
:D:D For Australians “taking the scenic route” is what you say when you humorously acknowledge (without really admitting it) that you got lost!

“We know who you are sir, we are to escort you to your car.”
Very efficient.

The Soviet Flag was inserted by yours truly into an early 20th century photograph.
Very much like that kind of image altering for alt-hist authenticity. It’s the little things that count. :cool:

and leave him in place as long as he's useful.
then up against the wall!

On that note, have any of you heard anything about 'Odinatsat'. I've temporarily lost contact with my operatives who were watching over her. I'm a bit worried.”
My guess is it’s more likely to be romantic rather than enemy action! ;)

I'm talking about building a Rocket Test Facility with less than half of the 60 IC we save thanks to US supplies etc.
Hoorah! YES.

I realise this may not be the most exciting way to use our newfound production capacity, but I would like to suggest doubling, if not tripling, the Infrastructure budget, at least for now. We could improve the flow of supplies to and from the front significantly with additional investment,
Interesting - could be of longer term benefit.

To Rocket Test Site, or not to Rocket Test Site?

How much do we care about the officer ratio? Do we order only a few ground units, or do we simply assume it will work itself out?

Do we prepare for war in Norway, or war in the Balkans? (or Denmark)

Do we really need that many Marines? Is island hopping in the Med even worth it?

Should we focus further VVS investment on long range logistical bombing, or on close-range ground attacks, or should we bite the bullet, and build Tac?
1. Rockets? He’ll yeah! :D
2. Care a fair bit about the officer ratio, but not necessarily to 140%.
3. War in the Balkans. It’s the main game.
4. I reckon no more than a small corps as first wave troops (3-4 divs), the rest can be conventional once the coast is clear.
5. I like TAC for the truly heavy effect on soft targets. CAS can always be added if it’s a hard target.
 

El Pip

Lord of Slower-than-real-time
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Catching up and I probably should be more bothered about Odinstat. But I am not, because this is clearly far more important;

At midnight, disaster struck again. 1. Pesi Divize managed to cut behind our patchy lines in the Western part of the Latvia SSR, eventually taking Stende, and cutting off the retreat of 52 SD (10.646 strong), the men were taken prisoner at 1 am.
I am proud of my boys for this one. They can look forward to the War Victory Cross (5th Class) at least for this incredible feat of arms.

While Turanec losing in Jurbarkas was much more par for the course, perhaps he can make good and succeed in taking Valdemarpils? But then such success wouldn't be very Slovakian, so I am not holding my breath. ;)

Also; Jagdtigers in 1942? That is quite concerning, we can only hope German production is as relentlessly terrible as it always was with advanced weapon systems.

EDIT:

Sweden started aligning to the Axis again. The Allies then started their own influencing campaign. Our access to Swedish Tungsten and Ballbearings was lost today, after a mere days.

This is probably because a single train of 40 x 20t wagons (even if only 3/4s full) would be enough to transport all of Sweden's annual Tungsten production several times over. Sweden might be doing 250t/year, which is basically nothing out of a global production of 50,000t.

I realise this may be a shock, but Paradox cocked up by giving Sweden the Tungsten strategic resource. But then they arguably cocked up with what Tungsten actually represents, so they are at least consistent at being wrong. :D
 
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