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29th of May 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #197
  • roverS3

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    The 29th of May 1942, Vologda, 2,5°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

    Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 20th and the 29th of May 1942,

    by 'Odin'

    Army:
    No changes to Army numbers for the last 10 days
    Officers: 104.527 + / 110.810 needed / 94,330 %
    No Changes to Army Leadership
    Air Force:
    No changes to the VVS, nor to the Navy Air Fleet for the last 10 days.
    Navy:
    No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.
    Politics / International:
    Battle Of Britain
    The Air Campaign continues on both sides of the Channel.
    Plymouth was bombed once more, before the bombers were intercepted by the RAF. Dover was bombed twice, without any RAF opposition. The Luftwaffe's Seeaufklärungsgruppe 127, composed of German Naval Bombers, managed to sink the 6th Destroyer Flotilla.
    On the other side, Dortmund was hit once more by Strategic Command, but the Halifaxes were intercepted by the Luftwaffe. They didn't return. There was an Aerial Battle over Boulogne, and another over Mulhouse, on the swiss border.

    After previous anti-submarine action, there have been no Allied convoy losses in the Atlantic. 4 German convoys were sunk by the Royal Navy.
    North Africa Front:
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,6
    Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,3
    BNAF42-05-29-min.jpeg

    Bolstered by the recently arrived Belgian Infantry Division, the British 1st army marches on towards Lybia. There continues to be no real Axis opposition at, with only a few Italian headquarters units putting up token resistance. The Lybian border has been reached in Khalij as Sallum along the coast, a mere 73 km from Tobruch. Axis forces continue to run Westward.
    An American Airborne Division (expeditionary) was flown into El'Iskandarîya, by the RAF, hopefully further reinforcing the 1st Army.

    There were no more bombings in North-Africa as the front moved out of range of the CAS based in El'Iskandarîya.
    The RN 'Coastal Naval Command' struck Lefkosia Naval Base once, before relocating to Malta.
    The Malta-based Strategic Bombers targeted Roma once more, with 5 unopposed Bombing missions. Trying their luck over Firenze, they were intercepted by the Regia Aeronautica before they could do their bombing runs, suffering heavy losses, probably more than 50%.
    The Regia Aeronautica has gone on the offensive, lest the Luftwaffe is operating out of Italian Air Bases. Malta's harbour has been bombed twice, with no opposition from the RAF.

    No naval encounters.
    No convoy losses on either side.
    South East Asia Front
    United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,8
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 77,6
    Philippines (Surrender Progress / NU): 74,2 / 74,9
    Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,3
    France (Government in Exile)
    PHFS42-05-29-min.jpeg

    After the Japanese captured the port at Lingayen, and copmpleted the capital's encirclement, the Battle of Manila started. Japanese forces are attacking the Philippine Capital from all sides, with 3 Infantry Divisions and one IJN Marines Division attempting to dislodge two Divisions of American Paratroopers (82nd and 101st Airborne), and the Philippine Garrison. IJA Bombers try to speed things up by flattening entire city blocks, there have been 9 bombing missions since the battle started. Meanwhile a Japanese fleet of unknown composition provides Naval Artillery support on demand. Regardless, brutal urban fighting has been going on for days. The Allied defense may well be fierce, it is ultimately doomed. Our analysts expect Manila to be in Japanese hands within the next 10 days. The longer the fighting goes on, the less of the city will be left standing.
    With the IJN shelling Manila and repairing it's damaged ships, convoy raiding decreased precipitously. 18 allied convoys were lost to the IJN, 5 IJN convoys were sent to the bottom as the Royal Navy also licks it's wounds.
    Not all of the Royal Navy remained in port, as aeroplanes from a small Carrier Fleet managed to catch Japanese Cruiser Isuzu on it's own. Fairey Albacore torpedo bombers from HMS Argus finished off the unlucky Japanese vessel, after it was shelled by HMS Cairo, and pummelled from above by the combined air power of HMS Courageous and HMS Argus. The Royal Navy lost no ships of it's own in the Far East.
    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.
    A lucky US Fleet sunk a Japanese convoys off the coast of La Paz. No Axis fleets were caught in the Bahamas. Does this mean that Germany is running out of convoys?
    Industry:
    4 Air Bases have been improved significantly, work has started on 4 more improvement rounds. (see previous update)
    Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 240 / 330
    IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
    Upgrades: 35,10 / 86,01
    Reinforcement: 0,60 / 3,33
    Supplies: 33,00 / 50,88
    Production: 231,60 / 236,64 (A single Mountain Rifle Divisions remains unfunded)
    Consumer Goods: 29,70 / 29,70
    Stockpiles:
    Energy: Maximum tonnes +
    Metal: Maximum tonnes +
    Rares: 48.160 tonnes +
    Crude: Maximum barrels +
    Supplies: 35.125 tonnes +
    Fuel: 99.674 barrels -
    Money: 1.541 -
    Intelligence:
    Nothing happened in the realm of intelligence for the last 10 days.
    Research:
    Advances in Radar (Level 3) technology can now be implemented in our Radar Stations, increasing the range and precision of new and existing installations.
    Our Electronic Engineers have switched their focus to the development of a new, cutting edge, Electronic Computing Machine (Level 2).
    New
    Infantry Small Arms (Level 5) have been put into production. See previous update on Rifles.
    The freed up resources were put towards the development of a new military transport aeroplane, with a larger Cargo Hold (Level 1).
    A new type of Ammunition has been developed for the new BS-3 100mm Anti-Tank Guns. Limited production has started.

    100mmBR-412B_1944APHEBullet-min.jpg

    The BR-412B Armour Piercing High Explosive round. A well-functionning APHE round will pierce the Armour of the target, before exploding. The explosive doesn't immediately explode immediately on impact, but only once the tip of the round has buried itself in the targeted armour plating, transmitting as much of explosive force directly into the surrounding armour and into the inside of the targeted vehicle. The BR-412B projectiles weighs 15,88kg, is spin-stabilised, and carries a MD-8 impact fuse with a short delay. 25% of the round's weight is explosive. Armour penetration with this round is even better than with the Armour Piercing BR-412: 500m: 160mm at 90°, 130mm at 60°, 73mm at 30°; 3000m: 105mm at 90°, 85mm at 60°.
    Development of a new Carriage and improved sights (Level 7) for our Artillery has started.
    No changes to leadership distribution.
    Statistics:
    National Unity: 83,241 =
    Neutrality: 0,00 =
    Dissent: 0,00 =
    Manpower:
    Available: 2.261.000
    Men To reinforce(need): 2.430
    Men To mobilise(need): See above
    Monthly gain: 48.200 Men (1 fully mobilised Infx3, AT Division every 7 days)​
    No changes in Party Popularity for the last 10 days.
    No changes in Party Organisation for the last 10 days.
    This Information is accurate on the morning of the 29th of May 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

    'Odin'​
     
    Last edited:
    3rd of June 1942, 'Odinatsat', 'Dva', 'Shest', 'Odin', 'Tri', Rifle testing, fall of Manila, landings in the Med
  • roverS3

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    The 3rd of June 1942, Moskva, 7,6°C, 4 pm Moscow Time,

    'Dva' invited 'Shest' and myself to the official testing session for the new SVT-40 sniper rifle variant. The event took place at the brand new Sniper Training Ground in Kosino, to the East of Moskva, a mere 3 km away from the recently opened Central Women's Sniper Training School's Barracks. I'm still not quite sure whether committee members made this happen, or whether it was a coincidence. As I passed the payphones on the way into the station, one of them started ringing, I instinctively picked up the receiver. It was, of course, 'Tri':

    It's over. The 101st Airborne surrendered two days ago, and yesterday, at 2pm local time (9am Moscow Time), the Manila Garrison put down it's weapons, ending the battle of Manila. The brand new Mayor of Greater Manila, Leon Guinto Senior, was left to negotiate the city's and the Philippines' surrender with Lt. General Yasuyo Yamasaki and Rear Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa. 2 hours after the final shot fell, the territory of the Philippines was unconditionally surrendered to the Japanese Empire. It took until the evening for the news to reach Cagayan, and the rest of the world.

    PHFS42-06-02_5am-min.jpeg

    A map of the Philippines at 5am on the 2nd of June, right before the fall of Manila.

    The Philippine government, the 'Commonwealth of the Philippines' escaped during the previous night, on board a British submarine that managed to sneak into Manila Bay under the cover of darkness. After a brief stay in Singapore, it is expected that president Juan Sumulong's government will gradually make it's way to Washington D.C., where it will remain in exile, hoping that their American overlords ever 'liberate' their home country. Maybe 18.000 us Paratroopers, either dead or in Japanese captivity, will put public pressure on the American government, and the US Armed forces, to start seriously fighting Japan? I do doubt it, but you never know”

    And there was the dial tone. I nearly missed the express train to Moskva. The train-ride was relatively comfortable, and only delayed by half an hour. Once I arrived in Moskva, and made my way towards the exit of the station, another payphone started ringing, I picked up, and it was 'Tri', again.

    It's the Italians, they've landed a Division in Tarabulus, just north of Beirut. French Mountaineers are already on their way to throw them into the sea. I'm having a strange feeling of déjà-vu. I could swear they've tried that one before. I don't see them having much more luck than last time, but it could destabilise the British North-African front, if the Brits feel like the French can't handle this on their own...

    Trabulus42-0603_8am-min.jpeg

    Italians in Tarabulus, 10am local Time (11 am Moscow time). Chasseurs Alpins are on their way to throw them back into the sea.

    'Shest's driver picked me up in front of the station in 'Shest's menacing black ZiL-101. We swung by 'Shest's place in Moskva (one of them anyway), and then, once I had changed, and 'Shest' had had properly dressed, we made our way to the event at hand.

    Shortly before we arrived, we had to slow down to pass a group of Komsomol girls from one of the Moscow Institutes. They were marching in the same direction we were driving. 'Dva was waiting for us, taking the role of a Colonel from some obscure department of STAVKA's central military bureaucracy. Considering most of the military crowd was composed of apparatchiks and Red Army officers, this was a perfect cover. 'Shest' had donned his Maj. General of the GRU persona, in the likely case, Colonel Nikolai Kolchak, chief of the Central Women's Sniper Training School, was present. I got to be his assistant for the day, wearing an NKVD Major's uniform.


    This was a rather more elaborate affair than I, or 'Shest', had bargained for. Improvised stands, overlooking the shooting range, were still being built by over 100 Komsomol girls, all between the ages of 15 and 25. The weather was nice, and lunch, for the 50, or so, military guests was served outside, on a campaign table placed on the lawn next to the training ground's command post.

    After lunch, we made our way towards the stands. Girls and young women of the Komsomol continued to arrive, filling the now completed stands with hundreds of, mostly female, Communist youths. We took our places, at the front, not sure what to expect. 'Dva' joined us, taking his assigned place besides us, today he was a Lt. Colonel. We didn't have to wait very long for the show to start.

    Sniper-School-cadets7-red-army-min.jpg

    Cadets of the Central Women's Sniper Training School, on their way to the training ground.

    A company of 120 young women in Red Army Cadet uniforms came marching onto the lawn that had become a stage, lining up in neat rows facing the crowd, as 'Odinatsat', ehm Lieutenant Goloniewsky, and two male Lieutenants barked orders, their Captain looked on. They went through an elaborate drill, presenting their Mosin-Nagant sniper rifles to the audience, before returning to a resting position, rifle behind the right shoulder, strap in the right hand.


    A discreet Sergeant tapped on my shoulder, urgent telephone call for me. Of course, it was 'Tri' again, the third time today.

    I'm officially declaring silly landings season in the Mediterranean. The British have landed in Athina, again. This time, the unit they sent is a motorised unit, ideal for North Africa. From my intelligence, it's made up of two Regiments of Motorised Infantry, a Regiment of Tank Destroyers, and a Regiment of Engineers. No Italian response yet. I'm going to guess that those very mobile troops will stay in place in Athina, until the Axis moves a large enough force their way to take them to an internment camp. Just like last time. Meanwhile, the foot soldiers of 1st Army march their way back and forth across the desert. Without our woman on the inside, we won't be able to see if the SEO manages to smuggle in more agents and weapons while they're there. That new guy, Churchill seems rather more enthusiastic about commando operations and the like. I hear she's been teaching women to shoot straight, a valuable contribution to the defence of the Soviet Union. I hope she's doing well.

    Athina42-06-03-6pm-min.jpeg

    Athina, liberated at 11am local time (12pm Moscow Time).

    A GAZ-65 staff car drove onto the lawn, stopping centre stage, the captain opened the rear passenger door, and a Colonel stepped out. The car drove off. 'Shest' recognised the Colonel as the Chief of the Central Women's Sniper Training School, and 'Dva' pointed out the brand new 4-wheel drive staff car. 'Odinatsat' barked another order, and the rifle women promptly snapped into a salute. It was a whole show of military protocol, before the Colonel took the stage, and with the booming voice of a Military Commander:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Officers, Komsomolets, I, Colonel Nikolai Kolchak, Chief of the Central Women's Sniper Training School, am proud to present to you, the first company to be trained at the Central Women's Sniper Training School. Most, if not all, of these cadets will become Red Army Snipers by the end of this month. They have been training for nearly three months now. The best amongst them will stay on as instructors to train the next group of female snipers. The Red Army is looking for motivated volunteers. Applicants must be physically fit young women, at least 20 years of age, secondary school graduates who have gone through the 4-day Vsevobuch basic training programme. Applications will be accepted until the end of the month. Female secondary school graduates who haven't gone through the Vsevobuch program can apply until the 15th of June, and complete their basic training before the end of the month.

    To give them an idea of what they could be signing up for, I have invited some of our best and brightest Komsomolets to attend this weapons test. The Red Army is testing a brand new sniper rifle that could potentially supplement or replace the Mosin-Nagant rifles our cadets are carrying. To do so, Lieutenant Fyodor Dyachenko and Lieutenant Irina Goloniewskiy, two excellent marksmen, will execute all five of the standard exercises Red Army Snipers' performance is evaluated on, twice. They have been practising with the new Tokarev Semi-Automatic Rifles for a week now. Each exercise will be performed twice by each of our shooters, once with their current Mosin-Nagant service rifle, and once with the SVT-40. Captain Petrov will be keeping the scores on that board.”

    It was only now that I noticed the blackboard that had been placed to the side. The captain, taking just a bit of offence at being ordered to handle such a mundane task as keeping score, marched over to stand next to it. All three Lieutenants ordered their platoons of sniper cadets to rotate 120° so that they would be able to observe their instructors in the exercise, before putting them on their ease.

    Without further ado, let me give you a small introduction. Our first shooter is Lieutenant Goloniewskiy.”

    Captain Petrov yelled:

    Lieutenant Goloniewskiy forward march... halt... present arms.”

    'Odinatsat' stepped forward until she was almost next to the Colonel and presented her Mosin-Nagant, holding it in front of her chest. I was impressed at how disciplined she was.

    She is a veteran of the Finnish winter, were she scored 5 confirmed long range kills during her short time at the front. Since she has joined my School I have been able to see with my own eyes that she is an exceptional marksman, one of the best I have seen in my life. And I've taught marksmanship as part of the Boris Shaposhnikov Higher Rifle School for Commanders of the Red Army, for four years. Despite arriving at my school a month after training had started, she has quickly become an inspiring and efficient instructor.”

    There was a lot of applause from the Komsomolets, and then as if a switch had been flipped, the silence returned. Lieutenant Goloniewskiy was ordered to step back, and Lieutenant Fyodor Dyachenko to step forwards, which he did.

    Lieutenant Dyachenko was called up to do his Vseobuch basic training a mere six months ago. His scores for marksmanship were exceptional, he was fast-tracked into a Sniper Training Programme, and integrated the 187th Rifle Regiment as a Sniper, right on the German border. I specifically asked for him to be temporarily reassigned to the Sniper School as an instructor before he is redeployed to the Far East. He will leave us at the end of this month, when he will be replaced by the best of our cadets. I'm sure our Far Eastern Theatre will be safer with Lieutenant Dyachenko on watch.”

    Before the Colonel could continue, another Colonel stood up in the audience, and resolutely walked towards Colonel Nikolai Kolchak., he started talking in the same booming voice. Kolchak didn't react defensively, indicating the men knew each other.

    Maybe I should introduce Colonel Kolchak himself. No relation with the heinous Admiral of the same name... I'll try to keep this short.

    He participated in the civil war as a cabin boy on board the venerable Battleship Andrei Pervozovanny, participating in the shelling of White Russian troops during the Battle of Leningrad. He took some time off from the military, but he soon returned. He joined the Red Army in 1925, studied at the Leningrad Infantry School for 3 years, then followed an Advanced Training Course for Infantry commanders, graduating in 1932. I met him at that Course, and he is one of the smartest people I know, an above average marksman too. He thought marksmanship to people going through that same programme for three years, and published many works on Infantry tactics and marksmanship. Then, he was promoted to Colonel and served at Vseobuch as Deputy Head of the General Administration. And look at him now, running his own Training School for female sharpshooters. He always was a ladies' man, and what's more attractive than a lady that can kill you from 800m away? He always liked them dangerous...”

    Colonel Kolchak gave his Colonel friend an angry look, and cut him off:

    “That's enough! I'm very sorry ladies, and gentlemen, there will be no further unplanned interruptions. Let us begin.

    The first exercise tests the shooter's skill without a scope. A circular target is placed at 300m. The shooter gets 26 rounds, 10 of them are counted towards his or her score. To graduate as a sniper, you need to get at least 60 points. The maximum amount of points here is 100, with 10 rounds in the bullseye. This exercise will be repeated with the target at 400m distance. As this is a bit of a competition between marksmen, and between rifles, we'll also take into account the time needed to fire all the rounds. Ladies first. Lieutenant Goloniewskiy, please preload your rifle with 5 round, and make your way to the firing position.”

    CircularTarget-min.jpg

    A typical circular target like the ones used in this exercise.

    At 300 m there was little difference, the groupings of the Mosin Nagant were a bit tighter, but both shooters achieved 100 points with both rifles. It all came down to the time needed to complete the task. It should be noted that in this case, the scope wasn't mounted on the rifles, making it possible to reload the Mosin-Nagant with stripper clips. (which is impossible with the scope mounted):

    Mosin-Nagant: Lt. Goloniewskiy: 2:37 – Lt. Dyachenko: 2:42 (both 100 points)

    SVT-40: Lt. Goloniewskiy: 1:18 – Lt. Dyachenko: 1:12 (both 100 points)

    At 400 m, the SVT-40 proved to be less accurate, with neither shooter managing a 100 score with the SVT-40, the time needed to aim was slightly longer due to the distance:

    Mosin Nagant: Lt. Goloniewskiy: 2:41 – Lt. Dyachenko: 2:45 (both 100 points)

    SVT-40: Lt. Goloniewskiy: 1:24 / 98 points – Lt. Dyachenko: 1:18 / 96 points



    The second exercise for today is about long range shooting. The target looks like a figure with a Light Machine Gun, ready to fire. It is placed at a distance of 800m. The shooter gets 5 rounds and a standard issue 3,5x PU scope is mounted on his or her rifle. The minimum acceptable for a sniper is 2 hits on the target.”

    A significant amount of time was needed by both shooters to adjust the scope to account for wind and distance, this time was included. The results were clear, at these distances the SVT-40 becomes significantly less accurate:

    Mosin-Nagant: Lt. Goloniewskiy: 1:38– Lt. Dyachenko: 1:44 (both 5 hits on the target)

    SVT-40: Lt. Goloniewskiy: 1:28 / (4 hits) – Lt. Dyachenko: 1:15 / (3 hits)

    The third exercise requires teamwork. Both shooters will look away from the shooting range while targets are set up. These targets, in the shape of the top half of an enemy of the people, are being placed on the range right now, one at a distance of 300m and the other at a distance of 400m. They are so-called pop-up targets. Right now, they lay flush with the grass, and are thus invisible to a prone shooter. Both shooters will position themselves side by side, rifles loaded with 5 rounds, ready to fire. Both targets will pop up at the same time. They will stay visible for exactly 35 seconds. During that time the shooters are required to work together to locate both targets, and to put at least one round in each one before they both retract from view..”

    The results from this exercise were:

    Mosin-Nagant: 5 rounds in 300m target, 4 rounds in 400m target, 1 round not fired.

    SVT-40: 5 rounds in 300m target, 3 rounds in 400m target, 2 rounds missed.

    Our fourth exercise includes a moving target. Maj. General Kondratchev of 5. Kavaleriyskaya Diviziya has graciously supplied this training ground with 3 BT-7 Light Tanks. The idea is to simulate combat conditions. Imagine, an enemy armoured vehicle is sighted, with the tank driver sticking his head out of the top to see where he's going and catch some fresh air. The vehicle is moving carefully, at about 10 km/h, across the fields and meadows, looking for threats, looking for the shooter. The sniper, gets a call over the radio, and he or she rushes to a good shooting position 50m away. As soon as the shooter gets into prone position, the tank appears, 300m away, driving across the sniper's field of vision, it crosses a distance of 50 meters in about 25 seconds. The mission is simple, take out the driver. A minimum of 2 hits need to be scored to pass.”

    The head was a smaller target than the previous ones, it was moving, and the elevated heart rate from the 50 metre rush didn't simplify matters.

    Mosin-Nagant: Lt. Goloniewskiy: 5 hits – Lt. Dyachenko: 4 hits (1 miss)

    SVT-40: Lt. Goloniewskiy: 5 hits (1 miss) – Lt. Dyachenko: 6 hits (2 misses)

    For the last exercise, I'd like to ask you all to head to the stands at the second firing course about 200m to the East.”

    Everyone moved to the second firing course, the move took a good ten minutes. Luckily, the Komsomolets had also built wooden stands there, on a small hill. That was needed, as there was an earthen mound, 3m high, shielding the firing course from the hill, and the path. A narrow gap in the mound had a wall in it, with a door. From the top of the hill, we could see the shooting position from above.

    All right, the fifth exercise, the 'piece de résistance'. This is a 180° firing range, which means that targets can be placed in front of the shooter, as well as on his or her flank, and anything in between. It has trees, and 'buildings'. The idea of this one is to go one step further, targets are placed at ranges between 100m and 500m, they include. A periscope, a target behind loophole - small hole a sniper makes to fire through while minimizing the chance of being seen or shot -, half-silhouettes, and heads. Most of the targets pop up and down at random time intervals, a few move about. The shooter has 10 minutes to familiarize him- or herself with the course, then he or she gets 75 seconds to hit as many targets as possible. In addition to that, the shooter gets as much time as he or she likes for the final target. On this particular occasion, there are 15 targets that can be hit during the 75 seconds, and a 13th target, a loophole at 500m distance. 30 rounds can be used during the 75 seconds, up to five of the leftover rounds can be used for the final target.”

    The results were interesting to say the least.

    Mosin-Nagant:
    Lt. Goloniewskiy: 15 + 2 rounds fired / 14+1 targets hit, 1 miss.
    Lt. Dyachenko: 13 + 3 rounds fired / 12+1 targets hit, 1+2 missed


    SVT-40:
    Lt. Goloniewskiy: 18 + 4 rounds fired / 14+1 targets hit, 2+3 missed.
    Lt. Dyachenko: 23 + 5 rounds fired / 15+1 targets hit, 5+4 missed


    The final scores, when compiled

    Mosin-Nagant:
    Lt. Goloniewskiy: 200 + 100 + 90 + 100 + 190 = 680 / 700
    Lt. Dyachenko: 200 + 100 + 90 + 80 + 170 = 640 / 700
    Average: 200 + 100 + 90 + 90 + 180 = 660 / 700


    SVT-40:
    Lt. Goloniewskiy: 198 + 80 + 80 + 100 + 190 = 648 / 700
    Lt. Dyachenko: 196 + 60 + 80 + 120 + 200 = 656 / 700
    Average: 198 + 70 + 80 + 110 + 195 = 652 / 700


    Total:
    Lt. Goloniewskiy: 1,328 points – Lt. Dyachenko: 1,296 points

    Of course this doesn't paint the whole picture as the SVT-40 allows for a higher sustained rate of fire, and we didn't take into account the time differences in the timed exercices. This is even closer than it looks.

    Only now, 'Odinatsat' was looking over the crowd, we shared a short look of recognition, and then her gaze wandered on. She was right not to linger for too long, or people might notice she was looking at me. My thoughts were interrupted by Colonel Kolchak:

    The results of the test will be studied more in detail in the following weeks, however, based on what I've seen I'm prepared to make some observations:

    It's really too close to call. At very long range, 400-800m and beyond, the Mosin-Nagant clearly has an edge on the SVT-40. However, at intermediate range 100-400m, even at 500m the SVT enables a good marksman to deal with many targets in short order. With the semi-automatic, there is no need to move around to operate a bolt, and rounds aren't slotted in one at a time, but by the 10-round magazine. In my opinion, the SVT-40, while still not as accurate as the Mosin-Nagant, is close enough at intermediate ranges for both rifles to have a place as sniper weapons. I'm impressed by the progress made by Tokarev's design bureau. I expect to start using it at the Training School soon.

    I hope that our Komsomolets have enjoyed the show, they will now have the opportunity to come down off those stands, and mingle with the current crop of cadets of the Central Women's Sniper Training School. Please, feel free to ask any questions you may have about the Sniper programme, and remember, applications are open until the end of June.”

    KomsomolWomen-min.jpg

    Young women of the Komsomol looking at the scoreboard during one of the exercises. This picture is from the 70s, but they are Komsomolets from one of the Moscow Institutes. (Universities)

    Reactions by the Red Army officers at the front were mixed as a flood of young girls and women stormed down the stands to ask their questions, maybe even to apply. The expressions went from delight at the sight of so many excited (and pretty) young women, to stoic indifference, to quiet disgust at the idea of women in the military, let alone women snipers. I wanted to go say hi to 'Odinatsat', but 'Shest' stopped me in my seat:

    Don't. People are probably watching, and you don't want your face to end up anywhere near hers in a foreign intelligence file, be it German, British, or American. You're too important to our cause. Now, if you looked like a 15-25 old woman, then I'd be inclined to let you proceed. I'm going to go make small talk with the Colonel, and no matter what happens, or what he says, you are the most forgettable NKVD Major that ever walked this earth. You're boring, quiet, and obedient.”

    After each giving 'Dva' a short nod, as if we had just met today, we walked towards the Colonel. He was talking with his old friend who's name I didn't quite catch, though I'm sure 'Shest' knows. As soon as he spotted 'Shest', he cut his conversation short, and turned towards him, you definitely don't want to rub a GRU Maj. General the wrong way:

    Maj. General, I'm glad you're here, so you can see the impact Lt. Goloniewskiy has on those young women. She's an excellent shot too, of course, as you've been able to witness this afternoon. I have to say, I was a bit sceptical at the start. She was a bit skittish, like she's seen evil in this world I can't even imagine, like she's always looking out, on her guard. Luckily, it took her a week or so to start feeling safe with us, and once she let her guard down, just a little, she became relatable to those young cadets out there, she became a role model. I couldn't have found a better woman for the job. It's important for my cadets to have a woman to look up to, in a discipline dominated by men, it helps them project themselves into their own future. Unless war breaks out, I'd love to keep her on as an instructor for several more rounds of training, at least. The Red Army deserves to get the best snipers, and that means we get the best men and women, and we have the best instructors train them to their full potential, all in service to Communist Party, and the People of the Soviet Union.”

    You make some excellent points Colonel, and I would love to talk with you about Lt. Goloniewskiy's personal evolution, or the advantages of training women snipers. However, Lt. Goloniewskiy's past is heavily classified, and I'm not a big expert on spotting potentially talented snipers, let's just say that she had other qualifications that were more important than marksmanship in her previous line of work. She needed a break from that life, and I'm glad this worked out. You can keep her, as long as the GRU doesn't absolutely need her back, as long as there isn't a big war on, and as long as she wants to stay. But, I waver, I have places to be, and people to see. Colonel.”

    Maj. General”

    'Shest' gave him a hand and that was that. We slipped out of the crowd, and into the ZiS-101, soon we were on our way, back towards Moskva, and dinner.

    With 'Odinatsat' busy, and in the public eye, we might have to wait a little longer to hear from her personally. At least, we all know she's doing fine, and that her shooting has improved. I'm happy to have seen her, even from afar, some distance from our world of permanent secrecy is definitely doing some good, as is the opportunity to inspire eager young girls and teach them something valuable and deadly.

    Greetings,

    'Odin'

    The exercices described are based on a list of exercises from a US Military Intelligence on Red Army Sniper Training in 1932. Some tweaks were made by me, to better highlight the differences between the rifles, as already discussed in theory above. The Komsomol was a prime recruiting ground for the Central Women's Sniper Training School, so this scenario doesn't seem entirely unlikely to me...

    I'm going on holiday to the North Sea Coast for a week, I'm leaving in a couple of hours, so I'll probably reply to any questions or comments you have when I get back.
     
    8th of June 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #198
  • roverS3

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    The 8th of June 1942, Vologda, 8,3°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

    Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 30th of May and the 8th of June 1942,

    by 'Odin'

    Army:
    No changes to Army numbers for the last 10 days
    Officers: 105.027 + / 110.810 needed / 94,781 %
    No Changes to Army Leadership
    Air Force:
    124 brand new Il-10s have been delivered, as 55. ShAD, to the brand new VI. ShAK.
    Aeroplane Numbers (Wings/Planes):
    Interceptors: 28 / 3.472
    Multi-Role Fighters: 9 / 1.116
    Close Air Support: 11 / 1.364
    Carrier Air Groups: 8 / 496
    Single Engined: 56 / 6.448
    Tactical Bomber: 4 / 400
    Strategic Bombers: 1 / 100
    Total Bombers: 16 / 1.864
    Transport Planes: 3 / 372
    Total VVS: 56 / 6.824
    Total Navy: 8 / 496
    Total Aeroplanes: 64 / 7.320
    Active Leaders: 23 / 27 Reserve
    Production has been temporarily halted to make way for upgrades to existing units.
    Navy Air Fleet Leaders
    New Air Maj. General Martynov, SK2 has taken command of the new VI. ShAK.
    No changes to the Navy Air Fleet for the last 10 days.
    Navy:
    No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.
    Politics / International:
    Battle Of Britain
    After the Luftwaffe's success last time around, they tried to come back for more, the RAF was ready for them though, and after 4 intense aerial battles over Dover, the British Isles were not bombed.
    On the other side, the Luftwaffe was on the defensive as well. Strategic Air Command managed to hit
    Leipzig once, but it paid a steep price. The Halifaxes were intercepted over Leipzig, over Dortmund, and over Tournai (Belgium).
    Again, no Allied convoy losses in the Atlantic. 8 German convoys were sunk by the Royal Navy.
    Athens - Greece
    Athina42-06-03-6pm-min (1).jpeg
    An Italian Mountaineer Division has arrived in Amfissa, just outside the British-held Greek Capital. No shots have been fired yet, maybe the Italians are still waiting for reinforcements...
    Tarabulus - Lebanon
    Trabulus42-0603_8am-min (1).jpeg
    A fierce battle has broken out over the mountains of Tarabulus, it is not yet clear who is winning. The Italians are better organised than the French troops they face, and sitting on top of the Mountains, but they are also encircled, haven't been able to dig in, and have to do with the supplied they have until they manage to take Beirut. On the other hand, the French troops are Mountaineers, they know the lay of the land, and their new commander, Maj. General Kieffer, is more experienced than his Italian counterpart (Maj. General Frusci).
    North Africa Front:
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,6
    Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,3
    BNAF42-06-08-min.jpeg

    The Axis made a powerful stand in Bardia, right outside of Tobruch. The British (and Belgian) ground forces were thrown back by dug in King Tigers, backed up by Italian Motorised Infantry, Cavalry, Armoured Cars, and Light Tanks. This time, most of the Axis Units were rested and well-supplied (through Tobruch).
    The RAF came to the rescue of the 1st Army with no less than 12 bombing missions on Bardia. This was remarkably effective, as the Africacorps didn't manage to push back the, badly battered, British troops. A temporary stalemate, thanks to hundreds of Vickers-Armstrong Wellington Mk.III bombers.
    Inexplicably, the US Paratrooper Division on loan to the British Army stayed in El'Iskandariya, almost doubling the Garrison to ca. 20.000, instead of moving up to help out at the front.
    The Royal Navy's Coastal Naval Command Bombers, based in
    Malta, sprung back into action, with another Port strike on Tunis, damaging Italian surface units based there.
    The Regia Aeronatica was absent from North Africa.

    RAF halifaxes in the area were less lucky, attempting to strike into German-occupied Yugoslavia, getting intercepted before they reached the target, and returning to Malta with only half their number.
    No naval encounters.
    No convoy losses on either side.
    South East Asia Front
    United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,8
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 77,6
    Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,3
    France (Government in Exile)
    Philippines (Government in Exile)
    The Philippines has been conquered by the Empire of Japan. The Philippine government is in exile, and on it's way to Washington D.C. (see previous update)
    Japanese Bombers returned to strike Singapore twice, sinking no Royal Navy Units, but damaging many.
    British CAGs tried to strike back at IJN units in Oosthaven, and/or intercept Japanese bombers over their base. There were 5 Aerial Battles over the city, but the more numerous land-based Japanese Aeroplanes managed to successfully shield the ships, preventing the British from doing any damage to the ships at anchor.
    Convoy raiding continues on both sides, with the IJN sinking 27 Allied convoys, and the Allies sinking 9 Japanese ones.
    The IJN started hunting convoy raiding submarines in earnest, successfully, with 6. Kuchikukantai (DD) sinking the British 2nd Submarine Flotilla, Light Cruiser Tatsuta destroying all of the 2ème Flotille de Sous-Marins (SS).
    British anti-raiding efforts bumped into IJN surface units once more, and Mutsu (BB) sank all of the 47th Destroyer Flotilla.
    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.
    An Axis convoy was caught off the coast of Surinam. , probably by the US, probably on the way to Brasil, possibly Argentina.
    Industry:
    3 kits of Radar detection equipment finished production. 2 new radar stations were set up for the Red Navy, one in Sevastopol (Level 1), and 1, confirming our so-called east-ward focus, in Vladivostok (Level 2).
    Production of Radar equipment continues at the same rate (3 parallel runs).

    Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 240 / 330
    IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
    Upgrades: 42,80 / 86,01
    Reinforcement: 0,50 / 5,52
    Supplies: 33,00 / 50,96
    Production: 224,00 / 229,00 (A single Mountain Rifle Divisions remains unfunded)
    Consumer Goods: 29,70 / 29,70
    Stockpiles:
    Energy: Maximum tonnes +
    Metal: Maximum tonnes +
    Rares: 48.376 tonnes +
    Crude: Maximum barrels +
    Supplies: 35.077 tonnes -
    Fuel: Maximum barrels +
    Money: 1.541 -
    Intelligence:
    Spy numbers, spies in (active / added / lost / caught by us)
    France (Supporting our Party / Counterespionage): 5 / 0 / 0 / 0
    { Germany (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 }
    { Japan (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }
    { UK (/) : 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​
    Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
    Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 0
    Reserves: 4
    Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,17 (a new spy every 40 days)
    More German spies were caught red-handed, though it remains unclear what they were doing exactly.
    Research:
    Advances in Tactical Bomber Ground Crew training (Level 2) will surely increase the Morale of our Yak-4 units, repairs will now be more effectively and rapidly executed, allowing out Yak-4s to spend more time in the air, and less time on the ground.
    Fighter Ground Training (Level 5) is up next.
    New Infantry Light Artillery (Level 5) designs have been delivered. Production of both 76,2 mm gun designs has started.

    76mm_usv_M1938MtnGun-min.jpg

    The gun on the left is based on a 1936 75mm Skoda design that was procured from the Czechs in 1937 in exchange for a couple of now obsolete Tupolev SB. This design is especially light, and meant for use by Mountaineers, and other units that rely on rapid non-motorised transportation. Weighing in at 785 kg, and 4,24 m long, it can be moved by it's crew. It can also be rapidly disassembled and loaded on 23 pack-animals. The sprung-wheeled carriage allows for rapid towing by horse or machine. Elevation is impressive at between -8° to over 70°, however traverse is limited to 10°, and the maximum firing range is limited to 10,700 m. An experienced crew of six can achieve a rate of fire of 15 rounds per minute.
    The second of the two weapons is, officially, an evolution of the 1936 model F-22 Divisional Gun currently in service. (introduced in 1940 in ATL). Use of the current weapon in training exercises showed that a lighter, more manoeuvrable variant would be more useful in the field. The Red Army ordered a redesign, but the 3 design bureaus (Kirov, No.92 Plant, AKB-43) came up with a brand new design, that was loosely inspired by the F-22, a redesign in name only. The resulting 'USV' is lighter (Combat: 1.470 kg vs 1.620 kg / Travel: 2.030 kg vs 2.820 kg), and shorter (5,95 m vs 7,12 m). The UVF does pay for this with a loss of elevation (-6° to 45° vs -6° to 75°), the traverse remains the same at a healthy 60°, the maximum firing range remains close to 14 km, and the rate of fire increases from a maximum of 21 rounds per minute to 25. A gun crew of 5 is sufficient to operate the new USV, where the F-22 needs 6 people. All three of the aforementioned guns fire the same shells, with a projectile weight of up to 6,5 kg (depending on the type of round).
    Development of a new Gun (Level 5) for our Armoured Cars (Level 5) has started.
    No changes to leadership distribution.​
    Statistics:
    National Unity: 83,241 =
    Neutrality: 0,00 =
    Dissent: 0,00 =
    Manpower:
    Available: 2.261.000
    Men To reinforce(need): 2.430
    Men To mobilise(need): See above
    Monthly gain: 48.200 Men (1 fully mobilised Infx3, AT Division every 7 days)​
    Party Popularity:
    - Communist Party: 58 (+1)
    - Trotskyite: 11 (+3)
    - Bukharinite: 2 (-1)

    - Social-Revolutionary: 3 (-1)
    - Trudoviks: 7 (-2)
    - Kadets: 3 (-1)
    - Octobrists: 1 (-1)

    - Tsarists: 5 (-3)
    - NTS: 5 (+1)
    - POA: 5 (+3)
    This month, the Capitalist factions have lost in appeal, in favour of Communist factions, and Fascist Factions. The first being quite natural, the second is probably due to the influence of German spies, to the detriment of that of Japanese spies. The Government remains un-fractured.
    No changes in Party Organisation for the last 10 days.​
    This Information is accurate on the morning of the 8th of June 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

    'Odin'​
     
    Last edited:
    18th of June 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #199
  • roverS3

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    The 18th of June 1942, Vologda, 8,3°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

    Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 9th and the 18th of June 1942,

    by 'Odin'

    Army:
    2 new Artillery Regiments, 131 AP, and 134 AP, have been deployed, to 113 SD, and 62 SD respectively.
    128. GSD (Mtn x3) has been deployed to Lt. General Batiuna's XXXIV. GSK, 1st Army Group, Leningrad HQ. (Petsamo)

    Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
    Front line troops: 700 / 2.100.000
    Support troops: 356 / 356.000
    Total fighting troops: 1.056 / 2.456.000
    Headquarters: 64 / 64.000
    Total Army Personnel: 1.120 / 2.520.000
    Officers: 105.527 + / 111.400 needed / 94,728 %
    Active Leaders: 284 / 214 more available
    Artillery production has been reoriented towards the replacement of Artillery pieces in existing units with better ones. No new Regiments have started training.
    125. GSD, with it's training on hold since september of last year, has resumed training as weapons and other equipment is produced
    Army Leadership
    New Maj. General Krylov, SK3, has been placed in command of 128. GSD, XXXIV. GSK, 1st Army Group, Leningrad HQ.
    Air Force:
    No changes to the VVS, nor to the Navy Air Fleet for the last 10 days.
    Navy:
    No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.
    Politics / International:
    Battle Of Britain
    5 Air Battles over France, and Belgium, (Tournai, Charleroi, Evreux, Vernon x2) but no successful RAF bombings. Is the RAF redeploying aeroplanes?
    The Luftwaffe did strike in Britain, with 3 bombing runs on Plymouth, though 2 were intercepted over the target. Other German Air operations were halted before they could have an impact on the ground, with 3 Air Battles over Dover, and 1 over Portsmouth.
    A single Allied convoy was lost in the Atlantic, while 22 Axis convoys were sunk by the Royal Navy.
    Athens - Greece
    Athina42-06-03-6pm-min (1).jpeg
    The Italian Mountaineer Division in Amfissa, hasn't moved or fired a shot, nor have the British.
    Tarabulus - Lebanon
    Trabulus42-0603_8am-min (1).jpeg
    The battle has ended, but for some reason, the French just stopped attacking, they will surely try again soon. We hope.
    North Africa Front:
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,6
    Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,3
    BNAF42-06-08-min.jpeg
    There has been no movement on this front for 10 days, as everyone, including the RAF, licks their wounds.
    No naval encounters.
    No convoy losses on either side.
    South East Asia Front
    United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,8
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 77,6
    Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,3
    France (Government in Exile)
    Philippines (Government in Exile)
    No new territory was taken by Japan since the Philippines.
    Another one-sided naval encounter spells more bad news for the Royal Navy. IJN Heavy Cruiser Chokai claimed all the credit, firing the sinking shots on both HMS Repulse (BC), and HMS Shropshire (CA).
    RepulseSingapore1942-min.jpg

    HMS Repulse
    was the last surviving Great War Battlecruiser of the Royal Navy. The Renown-class ship, built in 1916, took a few shots at the German Cruiser KMS Königsberg in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight, and that was it for ww1. She was refitted extensively for this new war, and had some success against the Regia Marina, sinking RM Bari (CL), and a squadron of Fleet Transports. She was, however, no match for more modern Japanese ships, and aeroplanes. The biggest problem of HMS Repulse was armour, with a 3-6 inch main belt and 1-2.5 inch deck armour, she couldn't even shrug off hits from modern Japanese Cruisers.
    Shropshire_Chokai_AtWar-min.jpg

    HMS Shropshire
    (top), a London-Class cruiser commissioned in 1929, had yet to score it's first kill, now it will never do so.
    Chokai (bottom), the bane of the Royal Navy. One of 8 ships of the Takao-Class, it was commissioned in 1932. With a main armament of 10 20cm (over 7,8 inches) guns in 5 twin turrets, she has a powerful broadside. She is quickly making a fearsome reputation for herself, sinking both HMS Shropshire (8 8 inch guns in 4 turrets), and the more powerful HMS Repulse (6 15 inch guns in 3 turrets).
    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.
    No convoys were caught close to US home waters.
    Industry:
    Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 240 / 330
    IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
    Upgrades: 48,30 / 144,41
    Reinforcement: 0,90 / 7,05
    Supplies: 33,00 / 50,81
    Production: 218,10 / 218,10
    Consumer Goods: 29,70 / 29,70
    Stockpiles:
    Energy: Maximum tonnes +
    Metal: Maximum tonnes +
    Rares: 48.591 tonnes +
    Crude: Maximum barrels +
    Supplies: 34.549 tonnes -
    Fuel: Maximum barrels +
    Money: 1.526 -
    Intelligence:
    Nothing happened in the realm of intelligence for the last 10 days.
    Research:
    Red Army Theorists now have a firm grasp on Combined Arms Warfare. Manuals have been sent out to improve cooperation between the various types of Regiments within Divisions. Special attention was given to the best way to use and support armoured elements within our Divisions.
    They have now started looking for improvements to Operational Level Command Structure (Level 4), to increase the red Army's movement speed on the offensive.

    No changes to leadership distribution.
    Statistics:
    National Unity: 83,241 =
    Neutrality: 0,00 =
    Dissent: 0,00 =
    Manpower:
    Available: 2.291.000
    Men To reinforce(need): 6.430
    Men To mobilise(need): See above
    Monthly gain: 48.200 Men (1 fully mobilised Infx3, AT Division every 7 days)​
    No changes in Party Organisation, nor Party Popularity, for the last 10 days.
    This Information is accurate on the morning of the 18th of June 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

    'Odin'​
     
    22nd of June 1942, 'Odin' and the whole Committee; Germany declares war
  • roverS3

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

    Alarms sounded at 5:50pm as an emergency Committee meeting was called. Those who could not be present called in. 'Tri' had triggered the alarm and the emergency meeting, he was calling in from Moskva:

    Gentlemen, War is about to be declared. The German ambassador is on his way to deliver a formal declaration of war, violating the Molotov-von Neurath non-aggression pact. A source in the German embassy provided me with the gist of it. I quote:

    "The Third Reich considers the non-aggression pact null and void for the following reasons:

    The Soviet Union has put in place a reign of terror on Finland and it's citizens.

    The Soviet Union's embargo on the Third Reich and it's Allies over wars that were none of it's business has been an uncalled for hindrance to the German economy.

    The Soviet Union exerting pressure on neutral Sweden for it to join the Comintern, though Diplomatic, and other means is a direct threat to the Third Reich's Norwegian territories.

    The Soviet Union's irresponsible and threatening build-up of forces on the border with the Thrid Reich and it's Allies.

    We are left with no other recourse than to declare war on the Soviet Union. This is a limited war.”

    You've heard him, this is real, where minutes from German Panzers rolling over the border. We will rapidly go over all the wartime measures to be taken as quickly as possible.

    'Tri', start with trade & legislation:”


    We currently have no convoys running through the North Atlantic, therefore, as long as Italy and Japan stay out of the war, we will keep any overseas trade deals, beneficial to us, in place. Trade deals with neighbours can remain in place indefinitely, as the goods are transported over land.

    Now, legislation:

    Wartime laws have been ready for a while. The Central Committee will move as quickly as possible to change our Economic policy to Total Economic Mobilisation, meaning that all factories and mines will be running around the clock at maximum capacity to feed the War Machine, civilian production will be reduced to the bare essentials. Instead of the current Three Year Draft, our conscription policy will be changed to Service by Requirement. This policy will empower the Red Armed Forces to draft whomever it needs to it's ranks, and to keep them as long as necessary, or until the policy is changed, this will be particularly beneficial for the officer corps, as the Red Army will be able to keep it's best officers around indefinitely, and draft many bright minds into the officer corps."

    "Very well, with that done, I'd like to move on to the Navy, 'Piat':”

    Our Submarines in Leningrad will sail into the Baltic to try and sink any German merchant shipping out there. The Red Banner Baltic Fleet will start patrolling the Baltic as well, looking for German surface units, and supporting 'operation Thor'

    Submarines based in Archanglesk will rebase to Murmansk and start convoy raiding along the Norwegian coast.

    Submarines based in Vladivostok will explore the possibility of sinking German convoys on their way to the Empire of Japan. Mikhail Viktorov, our Chief of the Navy will be recalled to Moska, thus another commander will be appointed to lead I. Avianosets Flote. Unless the Japanese declare war within the next few hours, our Carrier Fleet will return to Sevastopol in order to contribute to the the War with Germany in some way.

    As for our Black Sea Fleet. As neither Italy, nor Bulgaria have joined the war yet, we will launch 'Operation Poseidon' as soon as possible.”

    Sounds good to me. 'Chteyre', the VVS?”

    Our Air units, prepositioned near the front will be on high alert. 3 Fighter Aviation Corps, 4 Assault Aviation Corps, and 2 Bomber Aviation Corps cover the entire front. Priority will be giving to supporting active battles, by bombing enemy units, and intercepting any enemy bombers over our own. Three more Fighter Aviation Corps and an Assault Aviation Corps will be moved forward from the Moskva area to act as reinforcements and reserves. Our Heavy Bomber Corps will be redeployed from the Far East to Minsk, adding even more firepower. Unless there are any last-minute objections, 'Operation Thor' will be given the go-ahead, it will take a good 24 hours to get underway. As you know, it needs to happen very quickly, or it may be too late altogether. I'm counting on the Army to hold off the Germans long enough.”

    Sounds good, now for the big one 'Dva', if you please,”

    The 2nd and 3rd Army Groups will be put on a defensive footing. They've been preparing for a while. They will attempt to hold back whatever the Germans throw at them. Both are, however, undermanned for the task at hand. We will trade ground for time at first. Our 2nd Tank Army will be railed to Chalopienicy from Kaluga, the 11th Motorised Army will be redeployed to Vinnytsya. Once they've arrived to their respective staging grounds orders will be given to both Colonel Generals depending on the situation at the front.

    When the Germans reach a city, the Rifle Corps Garrisoning it will serve as an additional bulwark. As soon as some industrial capacity becomes available, I suggest we start training defensive NKVD Garrison units. These will then gradually replace the standard Rifle Divisions as urban Garrisons, freeing up the regulars up to join the fight at the front. However, I will stress that upgrades, reinforcements for existing units, and Supplies should take absolute priority over new training and production.

    All but 2 Rifle Divisions currently on the German border have Artillery Support. All of them have a dedicated Anti-Tank or Tank-Destroyer Regiment. Two Artillery Regiments will be deployed in early July, at the latest, to remedy this.

    Our Mountaineers on the Norwegian border in Petsamo will start moving into Norway, taking the port of
    Kirkenes as quickly as possible."

    All we can do now is wait for the first shot, and keep tweaking our plans according to developments in the field.”

    'Sem', how's the Industry looking, and “Vosem' what about urgent research?”

    I guess we'll see what impact the new laws will have. They will make current production of 'reserve' units more costly, but on the other hand, our production should be dramatically increased, more than compensating for that. Absolute priority will go to reinforcements and supplies, even if we have to delay some production. No new production will be green-lit before all upgrades for existing units are funded.”

    Research takes some more time, but as a general rule, a greater emphasis on tactics integrating lessons from the front, and the development of better militia weapons could greatly benefit us in wartime. The new recruitment laws also mean that officer numbers will be boosted without additional investment, so we can maintain the current allocation of leadership.”

    'Shest', do you have anything to add?”

    Yes, I do, as soon as we start losing ground, we need to star setting up partisan cells in occupied territory. This will cost relatively little in the way of weapons and resources, but it could wreak havoc in the German rear, disrupting communications and supply lines.

    In this endeavour, there is no-one more qualified than 'Odinatsat', or Lt. Goloniewskiy. She will surely rush to the front to shoot German officers. And I don't have anything against that. However, once we start training and deploying partisans and other agents behind enemy lines, we can definitely use her expertise, both in the field, and with the design of a suitable training programme.”

    I guess that's it then. Please, make sure that all the discussed orders go out immediately after the declaration of war becomes official.”
    Right on cue, 'Tri' yelled, over the phone from the Kremlin:

    Stalin has just received the letter. Go! Go! Go!”

    The secret compound, as I assume the entire Soviet Union is in a state of frenzied activity. Orders are going out. Stalin will make an impassioned speech this evening. Bullets will surely start flying before that. After years of preparation, mind-games, diplomacy, secret operations, and looking on form the sidelines, we are at WAR with the Third Reich.

    Movement is being reported all over the front, we don't know where the first blow will fall, but it will fall soon.

    TrenchWaiting-min.jpg

    Nervous Red Army Riflemen peer at the horizon from their trenches, waiting for the first shot to come and all hell to break loose.

    As you can imagine there is a lot to do. I will, of course, keep you informed of any war-related developments,

    Greetings,

    'Odin'

    @Bullfilter , your cheeky predictions were right, and the Germans declared war right on schedule, on the 22nd of June...
     
    23rd of June 1942, 'Odin', Military situation report, 26 hours in.
  • roverS3

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    The 23rd of June 1942, Vologda, 8,3°C, 8 pm Moscow Time.

    Yesterday, Comrade Stalin spoke on the radio. It was a short, rousing, speech, referring, for the first time, to the Soviet Union as the 'Motherland' (Rodina) to be defended. The speech is already having effects. A new nationalist fervour has taken hold of the population. Many civilians are going far above and beyond the call of duty in the name of the defence of the Motherland. This has lead to increased industrial output (+20%), shorter delivery times for weapons and tanks (-25%), and increased intellectual output from our scientists, spies, diplomats, and Officer trainers (+10%).

    The first 26 hours of the war have been hectic. The question isn't 'where did the Germans strike?' but 'where didn't they strike?'. The good news is that none of Germany's Allies have joined the fight. This means that we can concentrate on the Germans for now, it is also great news for 'Operation Poseidon', but more on that in a few days.

    9 provinces have been attacked:

    Rietavas, Suwalki, Kybartai, Zambrow, Lomza, Maloryta in the Northern part of the front
    Sanok, Przemysl, Zolkiew in the Southern part of the front.

    4 Battles have already ended, Sanok was a victory, but Rietavas, Suwalki, and Kybartai were losses, and it's only a matter of time before those provinces are occupied. Casuallies were quite one-sided, with 2.002 Soviet casualties and 1.036 German casualties on the ground in the above-mentioned battles. Other provinces will surely follow soon, as several of the 6 defensive battles, and many more have surely already perished in ongoing battles.

    To try and stem the tide, and even the odds, the VVS has been working overtime, 7 Aviation Corps flew 20 daytime missions in 26 hours, killing 3118 German soldiers in the process. No German aeroplanes were encountered anywhere along the front. This allowed the VVS to move all the reserve Assault Aviation Divisions up close to the front, as the repair capacity can be spared, and there is no need for fighters to provide air cover and get damaged. The biggest foe of our bombers is AA fire. Many of the German units encountered have dedicated AA Gun Regiments, and even though provinces with fixed AA installations have been avoided, over 30 aeroplanes have been shot down. It should also be noted, that, on average German Commander are more experienced than their Soviet counterparts at this stage.

    The following have been engaged in battle:
    20 binary Infantry Divisions (usually Infx2 and 2 support Regiments)
    10 triangular Infantry Divisions (Infx3, no support Regiments)
    2 binary motorised Divisions (Motx2, 2 support Regiments)
    1 triangular Mountaineer Divisions (Mtnx3, no support Regiments)
    SS Division 'Reich' (WSSx2, 2 support Regiments)
    1 single Regiment SS-verfügungstruppe (WSS, no support)
    6 Panzer Divisions (Arm, Mot, 2 support Regiments)
    2 (light) Panzer Divisions (L Armx2, Mot, Eng)
    3 Heavy Panzer Divisions (H Arm, Mot, 2 Support Regiments)


    A series of more detailed reports will crunch some more numbers and provide additional information, as well as enumerating all the battles that have happened or started by the 1st of July.

    But, before we get ahead of ourselves, let's look into our forces, and how they are deployed. First, the Red Army's OOB:

    OOB42-06-23-min.jpg

    These are all the units available to fight Germany. Right now, only 2nd Army Group and 3rd Army Group are on the front. All of Armoured Army Group is embarked on trains, and being redeployed towards the front. The 9 corps in Reserve are all dug in, in the cities mentioned below them . We do also have troops on the Hungarian, Romanian, and Turkish borders. That's another 4 Rifle Corps, and 2 Mountain Rifle Corps that could be pulled away, but then things would have to be desperate, or we'd have to be sure that one of those countries won't declare war on the Soviet Union, or join the Axis. A corps of Mountaineers is also slowly making it's way into Norway, in the far north.

    GPW42-06-23-min.jpg

    The situation at 8pm on the 23rd of June 1942.
    Objectives for 2nd Army Group (Yellow):
    Memel, Königsberg, Brzesc-Litewski, and Warszawa.
    Objectives for 3rd Army Group (Peach): Warszawa, Krasnystaw, Krakow.

    There are still some questions about how the Armoured AG is best used:
    GPW42-06-23_1-min.jpg

    A risky and ambitious plan would be to try some variation of this, using both 2ya Tankovaya Armiya, and 11ya Mot. Armiya. The first objective would be
    Lodz, and once that is reached, the aim would be to reach Gdansk, thereby cutting off much of the German forces from supplies. The risks are great, as German troops will attempt to cut off the spearhead from both the North and the South, and Supplies could become a problem.
    GPW42-06-23_2-min.jpg

    A push along the Baltic coast should have no issues getting supplies, with convoys bringing them directly to the nearest port. The first objective would be
    Königsberg, then on to Gdansk. There is little potential for encirclements, but also a much lower risk of getting encircled and cut off from supplies. In this scenario, 2ya Tankovaya Armiya should be enough on it's own, and 11ya Mot. Armiya could take the role of a mobile defensive force, probably in the south.

    GPW42-06-23_3-min.jpg

    A variant of the first proposal could try a breakthrough more to the north, aiming for Modlin, then Torun, and finally Gdansk.

    GPW42-06-23_VVS-min.jpg

    The VVS has moved all of it's bombers close to the front (Our TB-3s are still rebasing from the Far East). Fighters are ready to jump in case of any Luftwaffe interference. In total 5 Assault Aviation Corps (CASx2, Ftr) and 2 Bombardment Aviation Corps (Tacx2, Ftr) are supporting the Red Army right now. The aeroplanes currently in service are the La-7 escort and long-range Fighter, the Yak-7 interceptor, the Il-10 Assault plane, the ageing Yak-4 Medium bomber, and the lumbering TB-3 Heavy Bomber.

    Chief Marshal of Aviation Alexander A. Novikov has just moved his unit, II. ShAK, to Nowogrodek Air Base. VVS West HQ is also situated there, allowing the Chief Marshall of Aviation to command both his own Aviation Corps tactically, and the VVS strategically. 'Chetyre' has moved there too, and he will thus be reporting on Aerial operations from the front.

    Thanks to 'Dva's network of informants in the Red Army, I will remain well informed of all significant developments along the front, and even a few insignificant ones, I expect.I haven't received any news from 'Odinatsat', though I expect a note saying that she's going to the front any minute. As in the Winter War, I will occasionally visit the front, as well as headquarters and Air Bases.

    I hope this has clarified where we stand so that you can formulate your own proposals and/or questions. The Committe is interested in your thoughts on any of the above-mentioned elements.

    I'm off, there is a war on, you know, (Also Operations 'Thor' and 'Poseidon' are right on schedule...)

    'Odin'

    Let's talk business for a second. In the case we go for a big Tank offensive, I will give 2ya Tankovaya Armiya and 11ya Mot Armiya the same objective, with 2ya TA on 'Blitzing' stance, and 11ya MA on 'Attacking'. Right now 2 & 3 AG are both on 'Defensive' stance.
     
    24th of June 1942, 'Odin', Operation 'Thor'
  • roverS3

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    The 24th of June 1942, Soviet Escort Carrier Leningrad, somewhere in the Baltic, 12,5°C, 10am Moscow Time.

    I managed to catch up with the Red Banner Baltic Fleet to get a good view of operation 'Thor'. I hitched a ride on an Li-2 to Leningrad, then I hopped on a Red Navy Il-10VM in Leningrad, before experiencing a carrier landing first-hand. I hardly slept tonight. I landed at 1 am Moscow Time. It was a rough landing. The deck is short, and the sea was a bit rough, it felt like we almost broke the landing gear, with the way we slammed on the deck. I noted the ship's deck was entirely devoid of aeroplanes and the same was true of Moskva, Leningrad's sister-ship. I was told that all the La-7VM carrier-borne fighters were out on a mission, something about German fighters. Now I was worried. I knew operation 'Thor' would already be underway by this time. Part of the reason for operation 'Thor' to be launched so quickly after the start of the war, was to hopefully catch the Germans by surprise. German Fighters could be a disaster for the operation.

    Li-2_Bornholm-min.jpg

    A Lisunov Li-2, on it's way back to
    Kaunas.

    At around 1:30 AM, the silence was broken, and the rumble of hundreds of low-flying aeroplanes came, louder and louder, from the West, coming at us head-on. Was is 1. TrAK on it's way back to
    Kaunas, or was the Luftwaffe coming after the Carriers while all their fighters were away. I could see AA-gunners getting nervous. As they got closer, everyone on deck relaxed. We could now distinguish two different, but distinctly Soviet sounds: The deep rumble of Shvetsov Ash-62 radial engines dominated, but from time to time, you could hear the roar of Klimov M-105P high-performance V12s. Then 1. TrAK started passing overhead, I started counting the slow and steady Lisunov Li-2 transports, escorted by a swarm of La-7 fighters. Some aeroplanes were trailing smoke, and there were holes in the formation. Of the original 248 Li-2 transport planes and 124 La-7 fighter, I counted only 221 Li-2s and 88 La-7s. They'd taken a beating. I went up to the bridge just in time to hear the radio message:

    This is Maj. General of Aviation Chuvakov. Things got a bit hairy back there, but we managed to deliver the package on time, and in one piece. Now it's up to the VDV to secure the objective, their success will make all our sacrifices worthwhile.”

    Before I could say anything, there was another radio message:

    Captain 1st Class Falaleev of 2 KPA to Leningrad bridge: Clear the deck, we're coming in to land. Damage report: We got lucky, just a few bruised ego's, but 1 KPA lost 7 Lavochkins to those Messerschmitt 109s. I'd like to take this opportunity to take off my cap for the VVS heroes of 133. IAD, they were sticking to the Lusinovs like glue, to the very end. They got the worst of it, but their stubborn dedication to the mission saved many lives today, not to mention the operation.”

    An hour later, all the aeroplanes had been inspected, refuelled, and prepared to intercept any Messershmitts who would like to try their luck over the Baltic Fleet. There was some rejoicing, the Navy and VVS fighters had, together, managed to shield the transports from hundreds of Me-109s, and almost by miracle, all the paratroopers had jumped over the target, and landed in one piece. The celebration was somewhat subdued though, as the men knew some of the pilots that had been lost a mere 29 hours after the declaration of war.

    Nexö-min.jpg

    Nexö and it's small harbour. The second town on the island, perfectly located to take in Soviet supplies, delivered by ship, straight from Leningrad.
    By 3am, we could make out the target through the light mist. The island of Bornholm, 'the Malta of the Baltic'. I went down to the flight deck to get a better view, but the fog was getting denser by the minute, so it wasn't much of an improvement. As we got closer, the night began to ebb away, but the fog stayed, and then, at 4am Moscow Time, shortly after sunrise, alarms started blaring all over the Red Banner Baltic Fleet. We were now very close to the island, the fleet had halted 5 minutes prior, and the Battleships Oktyabrskaya Revoluciya and Parizhkaya Kommuna were positioning themselves so that they could deliver a broadside of well-aimed 12" rounds upon demand by the paratroopers on the island. I was looking at the Battleships, and as the alarms blared, their crews were rushing to the AA guns and training them on the empty sky. I heard engines rev up, the La-7VMs were scrambling to intercept, not only on Leningrad, but also on Moskva. At 4:05, half the aeroplanes were airborne, and a message was transmitted through the loudspeakers:

    This is Vice Admiral Kuznetsov: I have two short announcements for you gentlemen. First, Maj. General Galanin of the 1st Paratrooper Division has just reported over the radio that Bornholm is firmly in our control. Second, about 100 Messerschmitts will be overhead within 10 minutes, we will give them a warm welcome.”

    La-7_Crash-min.jpg

    Bornholm was conquered swiftly, but at a price. The pilot of this La-7 managed a crash-landing on the island and survived to tell the tale, he's somewhat lucky.
    This is a picture of an La-7 that was used post-war by a Soviet Pilot to defect. He crash-landed in Sweden.

    A few large supply vessels that had accompanied the fleet were now slowly making their way to the port of Nexö, on the East coast of Bornholm. At 4:15, the dogfight started, but we couldn't see much from below, nor could they up there, I expect. In dense cloud cover, 160 aeroplanes were trying to fight each-other, the roar of aero engines was constant, bursts of machine-gun or cannon fire were sporadic. A single Me-109 dived to low to evade an La-7, and right in between the two battleships, into the short line of sight of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet's anxious AA gunners. Needless to say, the aeroplane was shredded in mid-air, at an altitude of about 50 m by a hail of lead before the pilot could even think about pulling out of that precarious situation.

    In the end, both sides were pretty evenly matched, and equally lost in the dense clouds, and by 7am 7 109's had been shot down, while 1 KPA had lost another 6. Once more, 2 KPA had escaped unscathed.

    Looking through my binoculars, I could see engineers unloading construction equipment and steel plates in the harbour. Men of the VDV were watching, some were helping out. They're going to build an Air Base.

    BornholmMap-min.jpg

    This map of Bornholm was in my file, showing the general topography of the island, and the location for the new Air Base.

    Eventually, a large Air Base will be built on Bornholm. The Island will serve as a staging ground for a variety of potential operations. We could base heavy bombers there to hit the German industrial heartland, Tactical Bombers and Assault planes to support an offensive along the Baltic coast. It will also allow us to launch follow-up Airborne operations into Denmark or Southern Norway, something that is impossible from existing Soviet Air Bases. With Bornholm in our grasp, we can provide land-based Air support all over the Baltic, without needing access to Swedish Air Bases. It can be supplied by sea, directly from Leningrad, without interfering with any other supplylines. It really is, 'the Malta of the Baltic'.

    BornholmAirBase-min.jpg

    A more detailed view shows the layout, with the 1st phase in black, and the 2nd phase in grey. Note that the positioning of the Air Base means that Aeroplanes approach and climb over the water, unhindered by the hills in the middle of the Island. Proximity to the eastern port of Nexö allows for ship-borne supply from Leningrad, without forcing the ships to go around the island.

    NexöStation-min.jpg

    The train-station in
    Nexö, it could potentially transport fuel and supplies from the two main harbours on the island to the new Air Base.


    The plan, from it's inception called for 2 Paratrooper Divisions (1 & 2 VDD) to make final preparations in
    Kaunas before taking off towards the island to execute a surprise airborne assault, as soon as possible. The Red Banner Baltic Fleet would steam immediately, at an hour's notice, towards Bornholm at full speed, and prepare it's CAGs to intercept any potential enemy fighters and/or provide aerial support once the troops were fighting on the ground, as soon as the CAGs were in range. Once the Fleet got close enough, the big guns could also lend a hand. It was estimated that this should be enough to quickly overwhelm a division-size Garrison.

    Bornholm24-06-42-min.jpeg

    1 VVD and 2 VVD firmly in control of
    Bornholm. The Red Banner Baltic Fleet is to the east of the frame.

    In the end, it seems that there was no Garrison on Bornholm. A Garrison had been present there some months ago when a Soviet submarine made a routine reconnaissance pass, but it must have been moved elsewhere. So, maybe we could have just landed some troops with ships and avoided these losses. Sure, hindsight is a beautiful thing. We weren't going to wait for the Luftwaffe to shift eastwards as that would have put our transports even more at risk. Sending other planes ahead of the transports could have alerted the luftwaffe, and thus ruined the surprise. In the end, the operation went to plan, despite the intervention of the Luftwaffe. Despite the lack of an enemy on the ground, it was a well executed combined Red Navy - VVS operation, a true baptism of fire for 1. TrAD.

    Before I could venture ashore to take in the sights, the Red Banner Baltic Fleet started steaming back East again. An urgent request for Shore Bombardment on
    Memel from 6th Army HQ. Palanga is under attack.

    I'll leave you with a few more pictures taken by paratroopers in
    Bornholm:

    BornholmKapel-min.jpg

    Some squads of Paratroopers were quite spread out, due to their premature deplaning, when said plane was on fire. One man from 2 VVD landed right in this old chapel.

    SovietsInBornholm-min.jpg

    Young Soviet soldiers in
    Bornholm. Glad to be there, and there to stay.
    This picture is from the short Soviet occupation of Bornholm in 1945, some diplomatic arm-wringing was necessary to convince Stalin to give it back to Denmark. (We're not giving it back in this timeline...)

    I'll leave you now. I need to get back to the motherland. I'll try to get to operation 'Poseidon' in a few days, that's still ongoing as of right now, and there are no handy carriers there to fly to,

    Greetings,

    'Odin'
     
    27th of June 1942, 'Odin', Operation 'Poseidon', a relaxing cruise?
  • roverS3

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    The 27th of June 1942, Somewhere in the Aegean Sea, 17,4°C, 2:45 am Moscow Time

    After all the excitement in the Southern Baltic Sea, and having slept for barely 3 hours since the Germans invaded, I needed a break, and 'Piat' had just the thing for me, he suggested a nice little cruise, courtesy of the Black Sea Fleet. There was only one problem, I had to get to Sevastopol by 9pm on the 24th, (the same day 'Operation Thor' came to an end) or I would miss the boat. As you may remember, I was in the Southern Baltic, on board Escort Carrier Leningrad at 10am that same day.

    Once two aerial battles over the Southern Baltic Sea were over, and all the aeroplanes had returned to their respective Carrier, the remaining aeroplanes of 1. KPA were ordered to fly to Helsinki to repair, refit, and for the crews to get some rest and recreation. At the same time, 7. KPA took off from Helsinki to replace 1. KPA as Moskva's CAG. I took advantage of this switch to hitch a ride to on a, very lightly scratched, Il-10VM torpedo bomber. We landed in Helsinki shortly before 1pm, right in time for lunch. It was a short one, as I found a connecting flight, of sorts, upon arrival, it would leave at 1:15 pm. This second leg was in the back of a postal aeroplane, a re-purposed decommissioned Tupolev SB bomber. It took me to Leningrad, where I landed at 2:15 pm. Once there, I hurriedly changed into a Red Navy Captain 2nd Rank uniform, before taking advantage of a Red Army Liaison Flight to Homel.

    ANT-35_ps35-6-min.jpg

    The Tupolev ANT-35 is an all-metal twin-engine monoplane civilian airliner designed in the mid-thirties. Only 11 were ever built, all of them were used by Aeroflot until the war broke out. From the start of the war, they were used as VIP transports and for Military Liaison flights. (for comparison 818 Tupolev TB-3's were built.) The ANT-35bis, the variant I was flying on, sports 2 Shvetsov M-62IR Radial engines with 1.000hp each, these propel the aeroplane, it's two-man crew, and up to ten passengers, to a top speed of over 370 km/h, making it one of the very fastest passenger planes in the world in 1937 (In testing 390 km/h was achieved, cruising speed is around 350 km/h). The ANT-35 was never mass-produced, as the slower but larger, Lisunov Li-2 (DC-3) was eventually chosen as the main civilian airliner and troop transport from 1939 onward.
    The aeroplane, an old Tupolev ANT-35, took to the skies at 2:30. Sitting next to me was a recently promoted Red Army Guards Maj. General Andrei Grigoryevich Kravchenko. He was proud of his promotion, but even more so of his new station. He was just appointed to command the 14th Heavy Tank Guards Division. This Division was just deployed to the north of Brzesc-Litewski, and the Maj. General was anxious to whip the new formation into shape, and to play with his KV-122s, soon to be replaced by IS-2s I expect. I retorted that I was also recently promoted, and that I was to be stationed somewhere in the Aegean, but he didn't seem too impressed. He said something about there being no Germans in the Aegean Sea. He wasn't wrong, but not necessarily for the reason you might think.

    We landed at Homel Air Base at 4:15pm. There, I spotted a couple of Tupolev TB-3s, the first of 1. DBAD to return from the Far East. I quickly arranged for one to fly me, as quickly as possible, to Sevastopol. We took off at 6pm, landing at Sevastopol Air Base at 8:45pm.

    On the ground, in Sevastopol, 'Piat' had arranged for a car to pick me up on the tarmac, as soon as I landed. The driver that had been chosen for this job could give 'Odinatsat' a run for her money, where driving prowess was concerned. He expertly threaded the massive Red Navy ZiS-101 staff car through traffic, and by 8:57pm, we screeched to a halt next to the Mikhailovskaya Coastal Battery. Across the Bay, a line of large Military Transport ships was slowly moving towards the Black Sea, and right in the middle, the old Battleship Marat, flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, lay at anchor. A sloop from the Battleship was waiting for me, tied to a small landing. I jumped on board, and was quickly whisked towards it, which was already hoisting it's anchor by the time I got there. I made it.

    From then on, I tried to enjoy my cruise on board Battleship Marat. I got an officer's cabin on board the ship, ate my meals at Counter Admiral Papanin's table. Neither, Italy, nor Bulgaria have declared war on us, and as operation 'Poseidon' has gone ever better than hoped, the chance of any German naval units, or even Aeroplanes interrupting the cruise were extremely low, especially when you consider how thinly spread the Luftwaffe seems to be.


    Marat-min.jpg

    The view from the bridge of Marat while she's underway in the Black Sea. The sea was calm, and the skies were clear. With the lukewarm wind in your hair, and the sun on your back, you'd almost forget there's a war on. Then, you look down from the bridge, and you see those tripe 12 inch turrets, and you remember you're on an active Battleship, and you think of those heroes who're dealing with real German-quality Artillery shells, over 700km away, and you rest easy, because you know that, eventually, the hun will fail.
    The weather was quite agreeable. The skies were clear, the sun was shining, and in the Black sea, it was a couple of degrees warmer than it had been in the Baltic. Now, off course, the Red Navy didn't organise this cruise for me. This was quite apparent from the 10.000 strong 3. Garnizon Diviziya, which was travelling with us. The Division had been loaded, in it's entirety, onto the 5 massive Military Transport ships, Heavy guns, horses, staff cars, and all, onto the 5 massive military transports, which were sailing right behind Marat, in the Middle of the Fleet. The Garrison Troops being relatively lightly armed, there was plenty of space on the transports, which were loaded to less than 75% of their maximum capacity. Even for the grunts, this was a bit of a cruise. So what was the mission then, you may ask. And ask, you may.

    Shortly after 7am on the 26th of June, we entered the Bosphorus, even this early in the morning temperatures exceeded 15°C. By 9am we found ourselves in the Sea of Marmara, where temperatures were higher still, having passed 20°C by the time we entered the Dardanelles, at 3:30pm. The fleet had a top speed of a leisurely 15 knots, as that was pretty much the highest speed the transports could maintain over any length of time, in the straits of the Bosphorus, and the Dardanelles, this was reduced further to about 10 knots. We finally reached the Aegean Sea at 7pm, going around the Turkish island of Bozcaada around 8pm.

    With the sun going down over Turkey, which was just over the horizon, we started to see the outline of our destination, the target of operation 'Poseidon', from Marat's bridge. It was around 10pm, and we still had to make our way around the island before reaching the capital, and it's large harbour.

    Lesbos_MAP_1-200000-min.jpg

    Mythilene, also known as Lesbos. Note, this map is not on the same scale as that of Bornholm. Mythilene is over three times as large, and thus this map's scale is 1:200.000, spanning almost four times the are the Bornholm map did.
    Operation 'Poseidon' was a plan for the Red Navy to take the Island of Mythilene from the Germans, who took the island during the final Axis invasion of Greece. As the Paratroopers would probably not be available for this operation, and as the operation is mostly meant to provide the Red Navy with a forward base for operations in the Mediterranean, the idea of a naval landing was retained. In case Germany was at war with the Soviet Union, and both Italy and Bulgaria had yet to join this war, the operation would be rushed to take advantage of this situation before Italian and Bulgarian Naval units would be able to spoil the party. If either Italy or Bulgaria had declared war, or if the initial landings had failed, the plan was to wait for the Carrier Fleet to return from the Far East for air support, and to keep eventual Axis Fleets at bay. That would have delayed the operation by about a month.

    Mythilene27-06-42-min.jpeg

    Mythilene is perfectly located for the Soviet Union to project power, especially naval power, into the Mediterranean. The proximity to the Boshporus means that the supply lines are short, as long as the Bosphorus remains open to Soviet shipping. Note that the British are still holding on to Athina.
    As no Marines would be trained for quite some time, the 1st Guards Rifle Division was prepositioned in Sevastopol, and it's Anti-Tank Regiment was temporarily attached to 3. Garnizon Diviziya. Guards Rifle units are probably the best units for Amphibious operations until we get around to training Marines, and 1st Guards Rifle Division has a Regiment of Sappers, which would further help it in it's efforts.

    Just as in Bornholm, (slightly outdated) intelligence pointed to German Forces, possibly a Fallschirmjäger Division, being present on the island, but this island was found empty as well. STAVKA now suspects that German high command pulled units from these small islands in preparation for their invasion of the Soviet Union. They were probably betting that the Soviet Union would be too busy getting overrun by their 'splendid Germanic war machine' to carry out naval landings, and that the British would probably go for Athens, again.

    mytileneHarbour-min.jpg

    The crowd looks on as a Soviet civilian ship arrives in the Harbour of Mythilene, it's carrying bureaucrats, party officials, and selected workers who have been rewarded for their excellent work ethic with a short cruise to the Soviet Union's first Aegean Island. I'm sure this will be the basis for an extensive article in Pravda.
    Back to the operation. I couldn't be there when the Black Sea Fleet left Sevastopol for the first time, but when they returned to pick up 3. Garnizon Diviziya, to be stationed on the newly captured island, I got there just in time. Now, after having successfully liberated Mythilene from a couple of Kriegsmarine administrators, and a few feldgendarmen, all of which surrendered without firing a shot, the 1st Guards Rifle Division will be transported back to Odessa, before being railed north to participate in the defence of the Soviet Union on the main German front.

    To get the most out of this new base, the Red Navy has asked for Mythilene Harbour to be expanded significantly, ideally tripling it's size so that both the Carrier Fleet and the Black Sea Fleet can be comfortably based there, if need be. Eventually, a small Air Base should also be constructed near said harbour in order to station reserve CAGs closer to any Mediterranean action.

    mytilene3-min.jpg

    The harbour at Mitilini. Plenty of space for expansion and new Red Navy facilities.
    The anchor was dropped in Mythilene harbour at 2:01am. The docks were filled with men and equipment. All of 1. GvSD was waiting to embark. A sloop took me ashore. Under the watchful eye of the Red Army's Guards Riflemen, 3. GarD disembarked while stevedores helped to unload the larger 122mm and 152mm Artillery pieces. The unloading process was done in a mere 20 minutes, as the men of the Garrison carried most of their equipment off the ships themselves. As the Garrison troops marched off towards their station, chanting the Internationale, the Guards Riflemen started loading their equipment on the transports.

    The elite Division, while having about the same number of men, carried significantly more, and heavier, equipment. The Combat Engineers of 14 SaP were especially heavily laden with diggers, deployable bridges, bulldozers, and also a lot of explosives.

    The Guards Riflemen are well-rested, and they're all sun-tanned, some even sunburnt. It will take about 40 minutes to load the entire Division onto the transports, which are now starting to getting significantly lower down in the water than they were before. With all that additional equipment, the transport ships will be loaded to 95% of their weight limits. I will have to wrap up shortly, as I still need to arrange for this letter to be flown back to the motherland by a Red Navy Seaplane.

    Operation 'Poseidon' was seen as quite risky when it was first proposed. It had the potential for high casualties due to the hilly terrain of the island, and the lack of experience in amphibious operations of the Guards Riflemen. Success was not guaranteed. As we now know, it ended up being little more than a big boating trip to an abandoned island, and the Guards Riflemen have started referring to it as operation 'Aegean Cruise'. Well, my vacation, and theirs, is almost over. I'm sure they'll soon look back nostalgically to those days in the Aegean, when they find themselves, six months from now, freezing their fingers off in some snow-covered trench, bullets flying and bombs falling. To get the most out of my trip, I will take the slow way back, a relaxing cruise from Mitilini to Odessa on board Marat. I'll arrange for tomorrow's 10-day report to be flown to the mainland by float-plane so that you can all read it in a timely manner.

    mytileneLanding-min.jpg

    This postcard shows exactly where the sloop was waiting to take me back to Marat.
    The sailor waiting to take me back to Marat just informed me that I need to get moving:

    Captain, 5 more minutes sir, and then we need to get back to the ship, or the fleet will leave without you and you'll have to find your own way back.”
    I hope you are also enjoying the summer weather, in spite of the massive ongoing German invasion.

    Greetings,

    'Odin'
     
    Last edited:
    28th of June 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #200
  • roverS3

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    The 28th of June 1942, Off the coast of Constanta (Southern Romania), 13,7°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 June 1942,

    by 'Odin'

    Army:
    Since the war has started, our armament factories and their factory workers have gone above and beyond what was expected of them, increasing production numbers to unseen levels. This resulted in the deployment, ahead of schedule, of a whole slew of units.
    5 new Artillery Regiments, 135 AP, 127 AP, 129 AP, 130 AP and 136 AP, have been deployed, to 56 SD, and 184 SD, 180 SD, 118 SD, 189 SD respectively.
    Two Engineer Regiments have been deployed to the Far East, 59 SaP, 60 SaP have joined 29 SD, and 136 SD.
    All of our Rifle Divisions in the Far Eastern Theatre now have a standard Infx3, Art, Eng composition.
    14. Tyazhelaya Tankovaya Gvardeskaya Diviziya, our third H Arm, Gdsx2, Art Eng Division, has been deployed to Hajnowka, 36 km to the north of Brzesc Litewski. it will stay in reserve until it gets properly organised and up to strength. Having been in production for a while, it was delivered with KV-122s, which will surely be swapped for IS-2s as soon as possible.
    47 KP and 65 KP, both Cavalry Regiments of 16 KD, have finished retraining, and replacing their lorries with GAZ half-tracks. The now strengthened Division has rejoined Lt. General Muzich's II KK, 2ya Tankovaya Armiya, Armoured AG, STAVKA.
    Our first NKVD Politeskaya Brigada (MP) has finished training with it's Chinese instructors. 1. NKVDPB 'Mao' will be kept in reserve for now.

    Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
    Front line troops: 703 / 2.109.000
    Support troops: 365 / 365.000
    Total fighting troops: 1.068 / 2.474.000
    Headquarters: 64 / 64.000
    Total Army Personnel: 1.132 / 2.538.000
    Officers: 105.942 + / 112.650 needed / 149 KIA / 94,045 %
    Active Leaders: 285 / 213 more available
    Production of Heavy Tanks continues, as training starts, towards the creation of another H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng Division. 15. TTGvD will join 14. TTGvD, and 1. GvSD in a second Guards Rifle Corps still to be set up.
    Half-track production continues, as the last Cavalry Division of 2. KK, 12. KD will now be swapping their lorries for half-tracks as well.
    Artillery Production was reoriented towards replacing obsolete guns in existing units.
    Army Leadership
    New Maj. General Kravchenko, SK3, BM has been placed in command of the brand new 14. TTGvD, 1ya Armiya, Rserves AG, STAVKA.
    Lt. General Meretskov, SK3, LW, has been promoted to General, and Chief of the General Staff, he will be replaced by his predecessor, now demoted to Lt. General Shaposhnikov, SK3, DD as commander of VII SK, 4ya Armiya, 4th Army Group, Odessa HQ.
    203. MSD, XXVIII, 2ya Tankovaya Armiya, Armoured AG, STAVKA, which had been commanded from a far by Lt. General Shaposhnikov, will now be commanded by new Maj. General Kreizer, SK3.
    Air Force:
    124 shiny new La-7s have been delivered, as 114. IAD-PVO, to Av. Lt. General Machin's VIII. IAK-PVO (D), based out of Vladivostok.
    Aeroplane Numbers (Wings/Planes):
    Interceptors: 28 / 3.472
    Multi-Role Fighters: 10 / 1.240
    Close Air Support: 11 / 1.364
    Carrier Air Groups: 8 / 496
    Single Engined: 57 / 6.572
    Tactical Bomber: 4 / 400
    Strategic Bombers: 1 / 100
    Total Bombers: 16 / 1.864
    Transport Planes: 3 / 372
    Total VVS: 57 / 6.948
    Total Navy: 8 / 496
    Total Aeroplanes: 65 / 7.444
    Active Leaders: 23 / 27 Reserve
    Production has been temporarily halted to make way for upgrades to existing units.
    No changes to VVS nor Navy Air Fleet leadership.
    Navy:
    Another Flotilla of 5 Sevastopol-Class Destroyers, 9. Flotiliya Esmintsev, has been delivered by Sevastopol Shipyards. The new unit will join I Avianosets Flote once it returns from the Far East.
    Navy Numbers (Flotillas / Ships)
    Transports: 3 / 15
    AG-boat Class (I): 11 / 55
    Series II Class(II): 9 / 45
    Series V-bis Class(III): 3 / 15
    Submarines: 23 / 115
    Norvik-Class (I) : 3 / 15
    Gnevnyi-Class (II): 2 / 10
    Kiev-Class (IV): 1 / 5
    Sevastopol-Class (IV+): 6 / 30
    Destroyers: 12 / 60
    Light Cruisers / Profitern-Class (I): 3
    Escorts: 15 / 63
    Heavy Cruiser / Krasnyi Kavkaz (I): 1
    Battleships / Gangut-Class (I): 3
    Escort Carriers / Moskva-Class (I): 2
    Fleet Carriers / Kyiv-Class (I): 2
    Capitals: 8
    Total combat ships: 23 / 71
    Total Navy: 49 / 201
    Leaders: 13/ 21 Reserve
    Construction of a new Transport Flotilla has begun in Leningrad shipyards. 3. Transportnaya Flotiliya will eventually be deployed to the Black Sea Fleet.
    Politics / International:
    In light of the ongoing war, significant changes have been made to the cabinet:
    Col. General Georgiy K. Zhukov has returned to his post as commander of 2ya Tankovaya Armiya, Armoured AG, STAVKA. Boris Lvovich Vannikov, a retired Red Army Col. General, has taken over as the People's Commissar for Armament & Ammunition (Armament Minister). This shouldn't change much in the running of military production, as both men have a knack for streamlining the production of Military Supplies. (Both are Military Entrepreneurs: Supplies +20%)
    Now ex-Chief of the General Staff, Boris Mikhailovich Shaposhnikov (MP +5%, Human Wave Doctrine decay -10%) has fallen somewhat out of favour. He has been replaced by Kirill Afanasievich Meretskov, who is recognised as a great scholar of Psychology, who will be able to conquer the hearts and minds of the fighting men in a way the brutish Shaposhnikov never could. (Org. regain rate: +10%) Shaposhnikov was demoted back to the rank of Lt. General, taking over from now Chief of the Army Meretskov as commander of VII SK, 4ya Armiya, 4th Army Group, Odessa HQ.
    Marshall of the Soviet Union Kliment Yefremovich Voroshilov has returned to his post as commander of the Far Eastern Theatre. In his place, Marshall of the Soviet Union Iosif Vladimirovich Stalin will be working closely with Marshall Meretskov at STAVKA, in particular to organise logistics for the ground forces (Chief of the Army). Both Stalin and Voroshilov have a similar focus on reducing supply consumption throughout the army. (Supply consumption -10%)
    And laws were also updated:
    Conscription laws have been changed to Service by Requirement.
    Economic Laws were changed to Total Economic Mobilisation.
    Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom in Moskva delivered a plea from his government for the Soviet Union to send Lend-Lease aid their way. This demand has been denied. We need the production capacity for ourselves, we need to hold on to our merchant ships, and given Britain's performance in the war up to now, it would probably be a wasted effort anyway. In short we'll do more good with the money ourselves.
    Battle Of Britain
    2 Air Battles took place, just north of Dieppe, another is currently happening over Portsmouth.
    Strategic Bomber Command has successfully struck Leipzig, without being intercepted.
    The Luftwaffe attempted another bombing run on Plymouth, but the bombers were intercepted over the target.
    1 Allied convoy was lost in the Atlantic, while 11 Axis convoys were sunk by the Royal Navy.
    Athens - Greece

    Our intelligence indicates that the Italian Mountaineer Division in Amfissa, has pulled out of the province, without having made any attempt to dislodge the British motorised unit from the Greek Capital. Looks like the Brits will be staying there for a while longer than expected.
    Tarabulus - Lebanon
    French Mountaineers have retaken control of Tarabulus, pushing the Italians until they could take no more. All the remaining men of the Italian binary Division were taken prisoner. The prisoners will be transported to POW camps in Indochina. They won't see their homeland again, let alone fight for it; until after the war has ended.
    North Africa Front:
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,6
    Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,3

    Still no movement on the ground.
    The RAF took to the skies again, bombing Bardia another 5 times. Over Italy, there was also a lot of action, with Air Battles over Terni, Firenze, and Bologna. That last one must have been a direct consequence of the RAF bombing the city.
    No naval encounters.
    No convoy losses on either side.
    South East Asia Front
    United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,8
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 77,6
    Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,3
    Netherlands, France, Philippines (Government in Exile)
    DEIF42-06-28-min.jpeg

    The IJN and IJA have moved additional forces into Oosthaven. The units, presumably freshly arrived from the Philippines, have started moving inland towards the current capital of the Netherlands, Palembang, and it's valuable oil refineries. For the Dutch, this is actually a blessing in disguise, as it will give them an opportunity to relocate their supply hub to somewhere that isn't cut off from all of their remaining troops. They will possibly be able to do something now...

    There have been no naval encounters.
    One of our spies in French Indochina has discovered that Saigon shipyards have just delivered a Flotilla of surprisingly modern Destroyers to the French Navy. The Suffren-Class ships are equivalent to the latest British Destroyer Class, the County-Class. Technology was definitely shared, as British Naval designers were spotted in the Saigon shipyards. It's not clear how much good a single Destroyer Flotilla will do, on it's own, against the IJN, with the rest of the Marine Nationale in Dakar. In any case, a second Flotilla of Contre-Torpilleurs has already been laid down. Much of the French government resources have been sunk into this programme, let's hope it pays off.
    The convoy war rages on, but the intensity seems to have lowered, as both the IJN and the Royal Navy are licking their wounds. 2 Japanese convoys, and 10 Allied convoys, were sunk.
    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.
    No convoys were caught close to US home waters.
    Industry:
    Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 240 / 438 Total Economic Mobilisation and the increased fervour of factory workers For the Motherland, have massively increased industrial output.
    IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
    Upgrades: 131,00 / 159,79 + Much of the increase in industrial output was sunk into upgrades, making sure our units everywhere have the best, and latest, equipment the Soviet Union has to offer.
    Reinforcement: 28,40 / 28,40 + The need for reinforcement has increased drastically due to significant casualties along the front.
    Supplies: 43,00 / 61,18 + We've had to cancel some trade deals for supplies, as the trade routes were long, and the goods pricey.
    Production: 209,31 / 209,38 -
    Consumer Goods: 26,28 / 26,28 - In these times of existential war, the population is prepared to give up some creature conforts in the name of the Defense of the Motherland.
    Stockpiles:
    Energy: Maximum tonnes +
    Metal: 99.810 tonnes -
    Rares: 48.649 tonnes +
    Crude: Maximum barrels +
    Supplies: 32.685 tonnes -
    Fuel: 99.641 barrels -
    Money: 1.342 - This drop is due to the cost of enacting wartime laws, our trade balance is now positive.
    Intelligence:
    Spy numbers, spies in (active / added / lost / caught by us)
    France (Supporting our Party / Counterespionage): 5 / 0 / 0 / 0
    { Germany (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 2 }
    { Japan (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 }
    { UK (/) : 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​
    Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
    Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 3
    Reserves: 5
    Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,23 (a new spy every 33 days)
    In the first days after the start of the war, three Axis spies were apprehended and neutralised. 2 German spies, and 1 Japanese Spy were caught red-handed.
    Spy training expenditure was increased, as the Diplomatic Service has reduced it's budget, due to a lack of enthusiasm from Sweden for trades of any kind.
    Research:
    Under the leadership of Alexander Novikov, the VVS Fighter Aviation Units and the Red Navy Air Fleets have now abandoned the 3-aeroplane vic formation in favour of the zveno-pary (2 pairs or finger-four) formation. This is a major revolution in Interception Tactics (Level 5), which has been in the works since February of this year. The change in tactics should greatly aid the VVS in keeping the skies clear of enemy Aeroplanes.
    Now, the VVS is looking into possible improvements to Ground Attack Tactics (Level 4), these should make our bombing runs more lethal still.
    The Red Army Logistical theory team has increased the scope of it's research to include improvements to Supply Transportation (Level 4).
    Research into better Mass Assault (Level 5) tactics has also started in our main Military Academies, this research is being directly informed from experience at the front, to make our Rifle Regiments more resilient, and more prepared to Assault enemy lines.

    Leadership distribution:
    Research: 20.50 (+2)
    Espionage: 0.23 (+0.06)
    Diplomacy: 2.19 (-0.06)
    Officers: 10.5 (+0.50) (63 Officers/day) The increase in officer training numbers isn't enough to replace current Officer losses, we may have to increase spending here even more in the future as now we're barely keeping up with the requirements of newly deployed units.
    Total: 33,42 (+2,50) Every scientist, spy, diplomat, and Army Training Officer is working just that little bit harder, in the name of Rodina.
    Statistics:
    National Unity: 83,241 =
    Neutrality: 0,00 =
    Dissent: 0,00 =
    Manpower:
    Available: 2.294.000
    Men To reinforce(need): 1.690
    Men To mobilise(need): See above
    Monthly gain: 72.900 Men (1 fully mobilised Infx3, Art, AT Division every 5,2 days)
    Service by Requirement means that we have an even larger manpower pool available.
    No changes in Party Organisation, nor Party Popularity, for the last 10 days.
    Due to the ongoing war, the 2.000-day conference of the Secret Committee had to be cancelled. If there is something specific that you would like statistics on for the second 1.000 days of the Secret Committee, I'm sure we can still accommodate your request.

    This Information is accurate on the morning of the 28th of June 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

    'Odin​
     
    2nd of July 1942, 'Odinatsat' #14, Sr. Lt. Goleniewsky goes to Lwow.
  • roverS3

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    The 1st of July 1942, Lwow, 8,8°C, 10pm Moscow Time

    Dear 'Odin',

    I realise I haven't kept in touch with you or the Secret Committee, and not even with you, 'Odin'. Of course I've seen 'Shest' and 'Dva's men all around, making sure I'm all right, making sure I'm loyal too. Having worked in intelligence, in one shape or another, for all of my adult life, up to a couple of months ago, I expected as much. I even saw you, and 'Dva' at that weapons test on the third of June. You were right, I need some time outside of the murky world of espionage, and I have to commend you and your colleagues for the new life you so lovingly created for me. It was nice to be able to teach some of my skills to other young women, to inspire, or at least attempt to do so, and not wonder whether any of them were going to arrest me, torture me, or kill me.

    Despite my busy schedule, Sergei and I met up several times at Air Base #15, to work on my car. For starters, we fitted a hydraulic breaking system from a wrecked ZiS-101, and re-aligned the wheels and the suspension in the process. Then, we bored out the engine to a displacement of 4.23 litres. That was a lot of work, we spent two days on that. First we had to take the engine out of the car again, take it all apart to the bare block. Then once the cylinders were enlarged, we had to re-sleeve them, and we had to get larger pistons, and mill them to the correct size for it all to work, before putting it all back together, and into the car. It's a good thing Sergei knew what he was doing, because that was just a tad beyond my mechanical skills. It was all worth it, my aeroplane mechanic friend estimates that the power output should be around 115hp now, with no real difference in weight. In any case, there is a noticeable improvement in performance. As the Americans like to say: 'There's no replacement for displacement.'

    We were planning on adding a supercharger, or even building one from scratch. Sergei also suggested replacing all the removable steel body panels with exact replicas made from aircraft grade Aluminium to save a lot of weight. At the sniper school, I was looking forward to teaching another platoon of promising young women, starting in early July. Then, the Germans finally attacked, VVS Mechanic Sergeant Sergei was deployed, the very next day (23rd of June), by train, to
    Kyiv Air Base. I thought I would miss him, but ever since I heard the news of the invasion, I could think of one thing, and one thing only. I wanted to go out there, and kill. Kill the invaders of the Soviet Union, kill my torturers, kill their friends, their compatriots, kill the national-socialist Germanic pigs, kill their fascist Allies, kill every single one of them.

    Now, during these few months in the Red Army, I did learn to control my rage a little better, but it is still there. I remained composed, and gave my all in those final teaching days. I really did feel proud and accomplished when the Platoon I lead through training scored the best average marks upon graduation on the 29th of June. Colonel Kolchak even promoted me to Senior Lieutenant during the ceremony, in recognition for the 'excellence in marksmanship achieved by the recruits under my watch'. After the ceremony, the Colonel called me into his office, I'll try to reproduce the conversation that occurred:

    Senior Lieutenant Goleniewsky. You have exceeded any and all of the expectations I had when you first walked into my office. You have proven yourself to be an exceptional marksman, and you have shaped those 40 recruits into a platoon of efficient and ruthless long-range killers. They will leave for the front tomorrow. STAVKA has asked for my best trainees, and your 'ladies' won't disappoint. But enough about them, let's talk about you.

    I would like to keep you around for another round of training. I'll make it worth your while. I can offer you more freedom in your methods, I can get you a staff car. If you stay another three months, I can all but guarantee I'll promote you to captain. If you stay on longer, maybe one day you'll be in my seat....
    You don't really care about the perks, do you? So why don't you tell me what you want.”

    I want to go out there and fight this war myself, sir. I know I may do more damage by staying here and training more killers, but this is personal, more than you'll ever be allowed to know. If at all possible, I'd prefer a posting with the Guard Riflemen, in the Lwow area.”

    I'll see what I can do, you're definitely good enough for the Guards Riflemen, and if I can't arrange it, I'm sure one of your old friends will be able to do so. Remember, there will always be a place for you here, as long as I run this place. I can always use a teacher like you. You'll get your orders by 0600 tomorrow morning. Dismissed Senior Lieutenant.”

    This morning, I received my orders. I had orders to report to the Headquarters of XXIX GvSK, run by Lt. General Markian Mikhaïlovich Popov, in Lwow. I'm to find my way there as soon as possible. Did the Colonel pull strings, or did someone affiliated with the Secret Committee arrange it? Maybe I got in on my own merits? I don't really care that much how it did, but I'd like to thank whomever made it happen.

    I decided to drive down to
    Kyiv in my GAZ-M1, and then find a train or an aeroplane from there. Quite a few roads to the front were filled with lorries and other army vehicles, and on many stretches, a strict 'no overtaking' policy was in effect. So, even with Red Army plates and markings, helpfully provided by 'Shest', I wouldn't be able to go any faster than 55-60 km/h for long stretches. I took an alternate route, though Brjansk, that avoided roads clogged with supply columns, as much as possible.

    With all my equipment loaded into the car, and my trusted Mosin-Nagant on the passenger seat, I started driving at 7:05am, map and instructions in hand. I was wide awake, and both the prospect of shooting Germans in the face, and that of surprising Sergei at Kyiv Air Base, pushed me to drive quickly. I had to stop for fuel twice, I had no trouble getting my hands on full tank of gasoline, Red Army vehicles having priority at all the petrol stations I encountered. Despite some unavoidable traffic, I made good time, arriving in Kyiv at 1:45pm. I travelled about 625 kilometres in 6 hours and 40 minutes, including a 15 minute lunch stop in Brjansk to allow an NKVD officer to check my papers, and another 5 minute fuel break. I struggled with traffic on the way out of Moskva, and on the final stretch into Kiyv, otherwise the roads were clear, and in good shape, allowing me to get the most out of my, now even more powerful, car. I arrived at the Air Base at 2pm.


    I had a late lunch in the base's officer's mess, then, having missed the midday flight, I then spent a few hours looking on, and helping out, as Sergei and his team worked. They were repairing a Yak-7 which had miraculously survived a bullet to the radiator. They had taken apart the entire Engine, and we were now replacing much of the cooling system, while some private was patching bullet holes. He had quickly made a name for himself in his new unit, as he was disassembling two written off Klimov M-105P engines into a working one, in his limited spare time.

    The pilot came by to check in on his bird around 6pm. After recovering from his initial shock, having found a Female Red Army Lieutenant working on his engine, he decided to boast about the action he had seen. He was optimistic, despite the damage to his aircraft. A few men and aeroplanes had been lost during a dogfight over Jaworow on the 27th, but they had crippled the enemy, forcing a mixed force of German fighters and bombers to abandon their attempts to bomb Red Army forces, downing “over 100 aeroplanes” in the process. That last number is probably a significant exaggeration, with the pilot personally affirming that he downed 3 FW-190's and 2 Ju-88s. Sergei was rolling his eyes, indicating his disbelief, and possibly his annoyance with the pilot's attempts at flirting.

    The VVS was running several daily liaison flights between Kyiv and Homel, as Kyiv functioned as a base for large repairs and reserves in the rear, closer to the central supply depots of the Moskva area, and relatively safe from aerial and ground attacks. Aeroplanes, personnel, aircraft, even whole units could be rotated between the Air Bases as needed. I had no trouble finding a seat on an Antonov ANT-9 bound for Lwow. I left the car in Sergei's capable hands, we shared a hug, and off I went, to the front.

    2 hours and 20 minutes later, at 8:45pm, we landed at Lwow Air Base. The ANT-9 is quite slow, with a cruising speed of 180 km/h, and we had to circle for a while, waiting for returning assault planes to land. I identified myself upon arrival, and was escorted by a motorcyclist to Lwow city hall. As I go there, I was lead into the office of Major Balabanov, a member of the Lt. General's staff.

    LwowCityHall1925.jpg

    Lwow city hall is quite an old building. The central part dates back to the 14th century, the Western part was built at the end of the 15th century, and the current tower was completed in 1830, after the 1619 tower had collapsed in 1826. It's an impressive structure, right in the centre of the old town, and I understand why Lt. General Popov would base his HQ there. The accommodations are luxurious, and the tower offers a vantage point with a pretty good overview of the city.
    I entered the office, introduced myself, and handed him my personal file. He took a minute to look through it, seemed satisfied with it's contents, lifted his head, coldly looked me up and down, and then got straight to the point:
    Senior Lieutenant Goleniewsky. Welcome to Lwow. You are to report tomorrow at 0430, at the St. Elizabeth Church, equipped and dressed for combat. The sergeant outside the door will show you to your accommodations for tonight. You will make your own way to the church. Here is a map of the city. These orders come straight from Lt. General Popov's desk. Don't get lost, don't be late, and be presentable. Dismissed Lieutenant. Good night.”
    The emphasis on 'be presentable' probably had something to do with the oil smears on my uniform that I acquired helping out the mechanics in Kyiv. I didn't have the chance to get a word in, and I was already being shown to my room. The Sergeant told me that the Germans were right outside the city, and that the church in question was on that side of the city (North-Western side). A quick look on the map told me that the church was about 2,5 km from city hall, half an hour of walking. I don't know when I'll have a chance to write to you again. I'll have to get up at 3am tomorrow, so I'm going to turn in now, and try to get a good 5 hours of sleep. I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep though, despite the long trip, I'm wide awake, both scared and excited for my first assignment on the front.

    240px-Elzbieta_old_Lviv_01.jpg

    A small image of the St. Elizabeth Church, close to Lwow's main railway station, in the North-Western part of the city.
    I'll try to keep you informed of my experience in this great anti-German war.

    Good night,

    'Odinatsat'

     
    Last edited:
    2nd of July 1942, 'Odin': GPW 10-day Report #1
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    2nd of July 1942, Vologda, 8,3°C, 6pm Moscow Time

    Report on the Great Patriotic War between 6pm on the 22nd of June and 6pm on the 2nd of July 1942.

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

    The 2nd of July, Lwow, 5,8°C, 6:30am Moscow Time

    I don't have much time to write, so I'll get straight to the point.

    I arrived at the St.Elizabeth Church at 0430, less than an hour before sunrise. A company of Guards Riflemen were dug in around the massive church, the only side that didn't have a trench full of Riflemen was the South-Eastern side. A sergeant told me to go inside through a small side entrance on the South-Eastern Side and to report at the Altar. I entered the Church, and as I got in the main hall, I noted a group of officers around the Altar looking over a map. I reached the group of officers, and they turned towards me as I was still 5 meters from the altar. I stopped, stood at attention, saluted, and introduced myself. A Captain, the most Junior of the officers, looked at the Lt. Colonel in charge, the latter gave a short nod, and then the Captain did one step in my direction:

    "Senior Lieutenant Goleniewskij, your orders are very simple. You will take up position at the top of the main tower of this church, and prepare firing positions towards the West, covering Horodotska Street, and towards the North-West, covering Zaliznychna Street. A firing position towards the West-North-West in between the two could also prove useful. It is imperative that you are not visible from below. If the Germans were to attack, you will be joined up there by Major Panov (pointing at the Major) and Lt. Colonel Molchalin (pointing at the Lt. Colonel). They will be commanding Artillery, Tanks and Anti-Tank Guns in this segment of the city, from up there. Your job is to make sure they are safe, that means shooting any enemy who may have spotted your position before he can warn anyone, and shooting anyone trying to shoot at you. You will not shoot until absolutely necessary for the objective, you're not there to shoot as many Germans as possible, you're there to keep the local artillery command in an ideal vantage point for as long as possible. Sergeant Orlov will show you the way up. Dismissed Senior Lieutenant."

    LwowNorth-West-min.JPG

    St-Elizabeth Church (in Red), prefectly located to cover the Northern and North-Western approaches to the city, as well as the Main Railway station. It is also the tallest building in Lwow, with it's highest tower reaching 85m. (Highlighted in red is Horodotska Street.)
    This is part of a detailed 1941 German map of 'Lemberg'.
    I rushed into the tower, and started setting up possible firing positions, Sergeant Orlov brought up additional ammunition for my Mosin-Nagant, and some thick blankets that could serve as supports in the various firing positions. There was a small table with a radio set and a telephone in the South-Eastern corner of the room. Once I was done, I looked around with my binoculars, I could see many Guards units, several IS-2s, direct fire guns, SU-100 Tank Destroyers, Light Artillery, Machine-Gun nests, etc. All rather well concealed for anyone coming from the West or North-West. I was looking over the large number of units, seemingly ready for any oncoming assault. Suddenly, at ca. 5am, I heard the familiar sound of a SG-43 Machine-gun firing, it was quickly followed by the sound of Gewehr 43 rifle fire. It was all about 2 km away, but having heard both sounds before, I could tell what they were. As I looked through my binoculars in the direction the sound was coming from, several people entered the small room at the top of the tower. Major Panov, Lt. Colonel Molchanin, and Sgt. Orlov were there, and also an Artillery Lieutenant, and a Starshina Radio Operator. There wasn't much talk, as we all silently observed one German squad after another quietly sneaking into the city along Horodotska Street, unaware that we could see them.

    Only once squads started fanning out into side-streets, with about an entire company of German troops already in the city, did the Lt. General start ordering his heavier units to open fire on the Germans. The early morning sun made it unlikely that we would be spotted, with the sun behind us, and we had a clear view of much of the action. In one spot, 4 Germans are mowed down by a hidden Machine-gun, then, 5 minutes later, a German Armoured Car drives into the city, and gets taken out by a concealed AT Gun, then, it's quiet again, then, a pair of IS-2 tank roar to life, and surrounded by Guards riflemen, they slowly move out of an industrial building near the station below. firing the main 122mm Gun at small pockets of German Infantry. From time to time, a German officer is taken out by a sniper.

    A few more Germans fall into the Guards' traps before they started slowly retreating. Suddenly, I noticed a German soldier looking almost straight at me. he was part of the first squad that entered the into the city, and was about 800m away on Horodotska Street. I could see his sergeant, about 10 m further away, motioning him to get a move on and get out of there. I didn't hesitate, I dropped my binoculars, and shouldered my Mosin-Nagant. Once I could see the private through my scope, it was as if time slowed down. He turned his head towards his Sergeant, and started to move his arm to point at our position. I adjusted my aim, and before his arm was anywhere close to pointing in the right direction, I squeezed the trigger.

    The men around me in the room, all occupied with other tasks, were startled by the sudden gunshot coming from inside the room. The bullet went straight through the private's head. Without even thinking about it, and barely changing position, I pulled back the bolt, inserted a new 7.62mm bullet into my rifle, and slammed the bolt back into place. Adrenaline was racing through my body, I was ready to shoot the next man who looked towards my position. Through the scope I could see the the Sergeant and the rest of his squad running away, they weren't even trying to see where it came from, and I don't blame them. I wanted to shoot them, but I didn't, I thought of the mission, dropped the rifle on the ledge, and grabbed my binoculars again to look for other potential threats .

    All of the Germans were fleeing the city, and now Guards Riflemen were coming out of their hiding holes to try and kill as many of them as possible, before they got out of dodge. In the end, the whole thing lasted barely more than an hour, and many of the Germans still got away. 54 Germans corpses were counted, while 5 Guards Riflemen had died in the initial gunfight. The Germans are going to have to do a lot better than that if they want to take Lwow away from the Guards Riflemen.

    The Lt. Colonel, who had been distant and had avoided interacting with me now turned towards me. He said, coolly:

    "I wasn't sure about you Goloniewskij, but now that I've seen how you work, I think we can get along."
    Sergeant Orlov was more impressed, though I suspect he was also looking for something else:

    "That was one hell of a shot Senior Lieutenant. But more than that shot, I'm impressed by your restraint. Why don't I buy you a drink to celebrate, once we both get some leave? There's no harm in getting to know each-other, is there."
    The Major was starting to open his mouth to reprimand the Sergeant for his forwardness, but I was faster than him, and my response was quite stern:

    "Sergeant Orlov. You forget your place. I may have the appearance of an attractive woman, but as my uniform clearly indicates, I'm a Senior Lieutenant. I'm not some girl in a bar you're trying to seduce, I'm your superior officer. These kinds of advances are entirely inappropriate within this context Sergeant."
    The other men in the room turned to follow the conversation. The Sergeant had no choice but to apologise:

    "Mam Senior Lieutenant, I wish to sincerely apologise for my rudeness and my disregard of protocol. Mam."

    "All right Sergeant. I'll let you off with a warning, don't speak to me like that ever again."

    "Mam. It won't. Mam."

    "Dismissed Sergeant."
    I almost felt sorry for him, and if I had been alone with the Sergeant I might not have used my rank to put him down so harshly, but given I was surrounded by male officers who where my superiors, I had to show that I wouldn't accept any junior or non-commissioned officer questioning my rank or authority. If they don't respect me as an officer, they'll try to keep me on a leash, and I don't like being on a leash for any amount of time. I've successfully navigated the challenges of my first skirmish in the defence of Lwow. Who knows what the future will bring? For the moment, I will remain posted to the main tower of the Queen Elizabeth Church. I get to sleep there too, always ready for action at a moment's notice. Day or night.

    I look forward to your comprehensive report of the first 10 days of this war. 'Dva' will surely find a way to get it to me, so I have a realistic overview of what is going on.

    Have a nice and productive day,

    'Odinatsat'
    Arctic Front (XXXIV GSK / 1st AG / Leningrad HQ):
    1AG42-07-02-min.jpeg

    Red Army Mountaineers of 46. Gornostrelkovaya Diviziya cross the border into Norway. (the old sign was later taken down to replace it with one that said 'USSR / Norge')

    XXXIV GSK has walked into Kirkenes unopposed. Tromso has been added as an objective. It is unclear whether Tromso can be reached overland. If not, a single transport flotilla is available in Archanglesk to ferry our troops there.
    Baltic Sea (Leningrad HQ):
    The Red Banner Baltic Fleet has started ferrying a corps of Riflemen to Bornholm, in anticipation of a future operation to take Copenhagen and the surrounding island. Opening up the Öresund, blocking German troops from transiting through Sweden to and from Norway, and allowing Soviet Fleets in and out of the Baltic Sea.
    Aegean Sea (Odessa HQ):
    3 Garnizon Diviziya is dug in on Mythiléné. I. Avianosets Flote has passed through the Gulf of Aden, on it's way to Mythiléné Naval Base.
    Northern Main Front (2 AG / Moskva HQ):
    BrokenPanther-min.jpg

    A destroyed Pzkpfw.V Panther tank of 13 PzD outside of Brzesc Litewski.

    The first German attacks came in on the 22nd of June, at 7pm, into Zambrow (4) and into Lomza (5). At 10pm, as darkness fell, German Infantry moved on Rietavas (1). In all three battles, the forests suited the defence, but the enemy had a large numerical advantage.

    On the 23rd, the Germans continued their offensive throughout the night, initiating 3 new attacks at 1am. Suwalki (2), Kybartai (3), and fortified Maloryta (6) were all targeted. Shortly after daybreak, Rietavas (1) ended in a loss at 6am, the Germans needing but a single night to rout the defenders. This was quickly followed with an attack on Taurage (13) starting at 7am. In the evening, both Suwalki (2) and Kybartai (3) ended in defeat simultaneously, at 7pm. Casualties were over 2-1 in favour of the attackers.

    The 24th started off with another 1am German attack, into Palanga (10), on the Baltic coast. The Red Banner Baltic Fleet was scrambled to the area provide fire support. While most of us were having breakfast, at 8am, the battle of Zambrow (4) came to a disappointing end, with over 1.000 casualties on our side, more than twice those suffered by the enemy. Both Lomza (5) and Maloryta (6) ended at 9am, with similar casualty numbers, in Lomza, at least a similar number of the enemy were killed. German reinforcements funneled into Maloryta gave them an overwhelming superiority in numbers. The rest of the day was devoid of new developments.

    1am attacks seem to be particularly in vogue with German commanders, as another attack was started at this hour on the 25th, into Augustow (8). Again, the terrain favoured the defenders, the numbers, the attackers.

    The 26th was another quiet day, with a single German probe into Jubarkas (7), causing minimal casualties. The 10am battle lasted less than an hour, before the Germans halted their offensive in the face of a risky river crossing and determined resistance.

    At midnight, the Red Army was defeated in Augustow (8), with heavy, but relatively equal casualty numbers. An hour later, on the 27th, as is quickly becoming tradition, Germans moved to attack Plunge (9) from Rietavas, and Kalvarija (12) from Suwalki and Kybartai. In both cases, numbers were close, with no clear numerical advantage. Sokolka (16) was up next, with the first German shots coming in from Suwalki at 4am, the odds were against the Red Army on this one. Lapy (11) came under attack from Lomza at 7am, with pretty even odds. At noon, the battle for Plunge (9), ended in defeat, casualties were light and in our favour, but the men were exhausted from previous fighting. A German attack into Bielsk Podalski (19) started at the same time, numbers were equal, and half of the enemy force was attacking over a river from Siedlce.

    After 4 days of bitter fighting, the defenders of Palanga (10) couldn't take it anymore, retreating at midnight. Both sides suffered over 2.000 casualties. The battles for Lapy (11) and Kalvarija (12) were lost at the same time, with less horrific casualty numbers. Following the midnight retreats came the 1am attacks, on Bialystok (22) and Merech (23). German numerical superiority in both battles was countered by the forest and extensive fortifications in the former, and impassable marshland in the latter. The 28th of June was a busy day. At 3am, after nearly 6 days of fighting, the battle for Taurage (13) ended in defeat, casualty numbers were in favour of the Red Army, though both sides suffered over 2.400 KIA. The next attack came at 7am, on Kobryn (24), from Maloryta. I SK HQ, an HQ Division from 3rd Army Group, got caught up in the fighting, giving the Red Army a numerical edge in this fight. At 10am, two German probing attacks were made into Jubarkas 2 (14) (again), and Brzesc Litewski (15), both were quickly abandoned by the Wehrmacht as the former was strongly held, and the latter was urban, fortified, and across a river. Noon saw the loss of the battle of Sokolka (16), with over 1.000 KIA on our side, for less than 500 Germans.

    For once, the night was quiet, with the Germans waiting until 6am on the 29th to probe Jubarkas 3 (17) again, with the same result as before. A retreating Rifle Division sparked another battle at 6pm by retreating into Sokolka (18) before the Germans had a chance to occupy the province.

    The 30th saw another 1am attack, into Brzesc Litewski (20), this time, one of the German units was attacking from Maloryta, circumventing the need to cross a river to get there. Wanting to take back lost ground, or just looking to strike back, the Red Army launched it's own two-pronged attack at 4am to take back Kavalrija (21), for once we had numerical superiority. At 6am, the second battle of Sokolka (18) ended, as the exhausted defenders retreated with relatively light casualties. At noon, the battle for Bielsk Podalski (19) came to an end, after nearly 5 days of fighting, nearly 5.000 Red Army riflemen had been killed, for less than 3.000 Germans, this is the most devastating loss to date. Brzesc Litewski (20) proved a tough nut to crack, and at 1pm, the Germans halted their offensive, casualties were surprisingly light. Our attack on Kavalrija (21) was halted at 9pm, the death toll was slightly in favour of the Red Army.

    July started with a quiet night, followed by a quiet day. The evening was marked by victory in Bialystok (22), the Germans were held off successfully, with German casualties over 1,5x Soviet casualties.

    On the 2nd of July, a slew of battles started. At 1pm the Germans had their fourth go at Jubarkas (25), this time it wasn't a probe, and they're keeping up the pressure. Both Ariogala (26), and Vainode (27) came under attack at 5am, from Taurage, and Palanga respectively, the former across a river, the second has forests for cover. The front in the Baltics is starting to look a bit shaky. At 7, the forests in Siauliai (28) came under fire from Taurage. V SK HQ was caught in the open in the plains of Rasienai (29), the Germans are attacking across a river, so the situation could possibly be saved, but I wouldn't hold my breath. The good news returned with a two victories, one in Merech (23) at 1pm, and another in Kobryn (24), at 6pm. Casualties here weren't in our favour, but the ground was held successfully.

    GWP2AG_42-07-02.jpg

    Map of Moskva HQ's front line (pink). The smaller circles indicate small scale battles (in number of Red Army troops involved).
    The Northern part of the front is in some trouble, but help is on it's way. Both 2ya Tankovaya Armiya and 11ya Motorizovannaya Armiya are closing in from the East and South-East respectively. I will welcome any suggestions as to how to utilise these forces, in light of the developments of the last 10 days.

    1. Rietavas (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    22 Jun 42 22:00 - 23 Jun 42 06:00
    SU: 37 SD (Art, TD - Kachalov, L2, DD)
    10.996 men /
    413 KIA
    Ger (Pogegen): 36 ID (Infx3 - von Kempski, L4), 35 ID (Infx3 - Ruoff, L3)
    Ger (Memel): 25 ID (Infx3, Art - Stumme, L4), 4 ID (Infx3 - Haase C., L3)
    23.994 men / 234 KIA
    2. Suwalki (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    23 Jun 42 01:00 - 19:00
    SU: 24 SD (Art, AT - Kazakov V.I., L3), 64 SD (Art, AT - Kostenko, L2)
    21.994 men /
    678 KIA
    Ger (Gumbinnen): 1 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Eng - von Thoma, L3, BM), 2 ID (Infx3 - Heissmeyer, L4), 168 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Wünnenberg, L4)
    Ger (Lötzen): 20 ID (Infx3 - Erfurth, L3), 57 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Rommel, L5), 76 ID (Infx2, ?? - Straube, L4), 56 ID (Infx2, TD, Eng - Kempf, L4)
    57.972 men / 276 KIA
    3. Kybartai (Defence - Hills - Defeat)
    23 Jun 42 01:00 - 19:00
    SU: 61 SD (Art, TD - Horujenko, L2), 38 SD (Art, AT - Kurasov, L3)
    21.989 men /
    887 KIA
    Ger (Tilsit): 5 PzD (Arm, Mot, SP-Art, TD - Balck, L3, BM), 1 ID (Infx3 - Höpner, L4), 58 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Steiner, L4),
    7 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA - von Hubicki, L4)
    Ger (Lötzen): 197 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Kleemann, L2)
    40.981 men / 373 KIA
    4. Zambrow (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    22 Jun 42 19:00 - 24 Jun 42 08:00
    SU: 89 SD (Art, AT - Gerasimov M.N., L2)
    10.997 men /
    1.177 KIA
    Ger (Ostrow): 9 ID (Infx3 - von dem Bach-Zelewski, L3, LW, OD), 162 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Sachs, L3), 225 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Lichel, L3),
    214 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - von und zu Grote, L3)
    32.987 men / 413 KIA
    5. Lomza (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    22 Jun 42 19:00 - 24 Jun 42 09:00
    SU: 217 SD (Art, AT - Petrov I.I., L3), 4 SD (Art, AT - Firin, L2)
    21.988 men /
    1.234 KIA
    Ger (Johannisburg): 69 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Crüwell, L2, BM)
    Ger (
    Ostroleka): 9 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Schaal, L3), 12 ID (Infx3 - Böhme, L3), 5 ID (Infx3 - Lindemann, L3)
    33.980 men / 901 KIA
    6. Maloryta (Defence - Plains - Level 2 Fort - Defeat)
    23 Jun 42 01:00 - 24 Jun 42 09:00
    SU: 71 SD (Art, AT - Krivoshein, L2, LW)
    10.990 men /
    1.280 KIA
    Ger (Biala Podalska - River Crossing): 1 PzD (L Armx2, Mot, Eng - Schmidt R., L4, BM), 10 ID(m) (Motx2, ?? - Müller An., L3)
    Ger (
    Wlodawa - River Crossing): 5 GbjD (Mtnx3 - Kuntze, L2), SSD 'Reich' (WSSx2, ?? - von Randow, L2), 231 ID (Infx2, ?? - Conrath, L3)
    Ger (Chelm - River Crossing): 3 PzD (L Armx2, Mot, Eng - von Manstein, L7), 4 LeichteD (Motx2, AC - Geib, L4)
    60.971 men /
    378 KIA
    7. Jubarkas (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    26 Jun 42 10:00
    SU: 118 SD (Art, AT - Kuznec, L2, LW), 17 SD (Art, AT - Zaev, L2), 235 SD (Art, AT - Malyshev, L2)
    32.756 men /
    5 KIA
    Ger (Tilsit - River Crossing): 58 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - von Hubicki, L4)
    7.998 men /
    58 KIA
    8. Augustow (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    25 Jun 42 01:00 - 27 Jun 42 00:00
    SU: 19 SD (Art, AT - Hadeev, L2, FB), 17 SD (Art, AT - Vasilev, L2)
    21.993 men /
    1.407 KIA
    Ger (Johannisburg): 13 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, AC - Köstring, L3, OD, OG), 227 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - Miese, L2), 73 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - von Schröder, L3)
    40.975 men /
    1.254 KIA
    9. Plunge (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    27 Jun 42 01:00 - 27 Jun 42 12:00
    SU: 37 SD (Art, TD - Kachalov, L2, DD)
    10.581 men /
    145 KIA
    Ger (Rietavas): 25 ID (Infx3, Art - Stumme, L4, BM)
    9.988 men / 125 KIA
    10. Palanga (Defence - Soviet Shore Bombardment - Forest - Defeat)
    24 Jun 42 01:00 - 28 Jun 42 00:00
    SU: 52 SD (Art, AT - Potapov, L2, WS), 16 SD (Art, AT - Klyuchko, L2)
    21.993 men /
    2.081 KIA
    Ger (Memel): 27 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - von Arnim, L4, LW, BM), 79 ID (Infx2, AC, TD - de Angelis, L5), 60 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, Eng - von Salmuth, L6)
    23.989 men / 2.178 KIA
    11. Lapy (Defence - Woods - Defeat)
    27 Jun 42 07:00 - 28 Jun 42 00:00
    SU: 89 SD (Art, TD - Gerasimov M.N., L2, FB), 217 SD (Art, AT - Petrov I.I., L3)
    20.341 men /
    283 KIA
    Ger (Lomza): 9 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Schaal, L3, BM)
    7.882 men /
    384 KIA
    12. Kalvarija (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    27 Jun 42 01:00 - 28 Jun 42 00:00
    SU: 6 SD (Art, AT - Tamruchi, L2, DD), 120 SD (Art, AT - Dratvin, L2)
    21.992 men /
    996 KIA
    Ger (Suwalki): 168 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Wünnenberg, L4, OD, BM)
    Ger (Kybartai): 9 PzD (Arm, Mot, SP-Art, TD - Balck, L3)
    15.982 men / 646 KIA
    13. Taurage (Defence - Woods - Defeat)
    23 Jun 42 07:00 - 28 Jun 42 03:00
    SU: 53 SD (Art, TD - Kariofilli, L2, FB), 3 SD (Art, AT - Bakunin, L2)
    21.993 men /
    2.467 KIA
    Ger (Pogegen): 86 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - von Langermann und Erlenkamp, L2, OD, BM), 221 ID (Infx2, AT, R-Art - Felber, L3), 86 ID (Infx3 - Ruoff, L3)
    Ger (Tilsit - River Crossing): 1 ID (Infx3 - de l'Homme de la Courbière, L2, Eng), 58 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Steiner, L4)
    50.775 men / 2.625 KIA
    14. Jubarkas 2 (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    28 Jun 42 10:00
    SU: 118 SD (Art, AT - Kuznec, L2, LW), 17 SD (Art, AT - Zaev, L2), 235 SD (Art, AT - Malyshev, L2)
    32.781 men /
    3 KIA
    Ger (Tilsit - River Crossing): 10 ID (Infx3 - von Schobert, L4)
    8.960 men /
    66 KIA
    15. Brzesc Liteweski (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 3 - Victory)
    28 Jun 42 10:00
    SU: 31 SD (Art, TD - Parkhomenko, L2)
    10.996 men /
    1 KIA
    Ger (Biala Podalska - River Crossing): 13 PzD (Arm, Mot, ?? - Gräser F.H., L2)
    7.992 men /
    13 KIA
    16. Sokolka (Defence - Forest- Defeat)
    27 Jun 42 04:00 - 28 Jun 42 12:00
    SU: 64 SD (Art, TD - Kostenko, L2)
    11.000 men /
    1.110 KIA
    Ger (Suwalki): 13 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, AC - Kempf, L4, BM), 20 ID (Infx3 - Erfurth, L3), 57 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Rommel, L5)
    24.994 men / 340 KIA
    17. Jubarkas 3 (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    29 Jun 42 06:00
    SU: 118 SD (Art, AT - Kuznec, L2, LW), 17 SD (Art, AT - Zaev, L2), 235 SD (Art, AT - Malyshev, L2)
    32.794 men /
    6 KIA
    Ger (Tilsit - River Crossing): 10 ID (Infx3 - von Schobert, L4)
    8.985 men /
    109 KIA
    18. Sokolka 2 (Defence - Forest- Defeat)
    29 Jun 42 18:00 - 30 Jun 42 06:00
    SU: 19 SD (Art, AT - Hadeev, L2, FB)
    9.852 men /
    258 KIA
    Ger (Suwalki): 57 ID (Infx2, TD, Eng - Kempf, L4, BM), 20 ID (Infx3 - Erfurth, L3)
    16.915 men / 103 KIA
    19. Bielsk Podalski (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    27 Jun 42 12:00 - 30 Jun 42 12:00
    SU: 85 SD (Art, AT - Pokrovski, L3), 50 SD (Art, AT - Bochenkov, L2), 173 SD (Art, AT - Khrulev, L3), 41 SD (Art, AT - Morozov V.I., L2),
    43.984 men /
    4.833 KIA
    Ger (Siedlce - River Crossing): 3 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, Mot-AA - von Roques, L4, OD), 4 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Eng - Hammer, L2),
    2 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, Eng - Förster, L4)
    Ger (Zambrow): 162 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Sachs, L3), 225 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Lichel, L3), 214 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - von und zu Grote, L3),
    9 ID (Infx3 - von dem Bach-Zelewski, L3)
    47.855 men / 2.756 KIA
    20. Brzesc Liteweski 2 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 3 - Victory)
    30 Jun 42 01:00 - 13:00
    SU: 31 SD (Art, TD - Parkhomenko, L2)
    10.996 men /
    243 KIA
    Ger (Biala Podalska - River Crossing): 1 PzD (L Armx2, Mot, Eng - Schmidt R., L4, BM), 13 PzD (Arm, Mot, ?? - Gräser F.H., L2)
    Ger (Siedlce - River Crossing): 32 ID (Infx3 - Fromm, L3)
    Ger (
    Maloryta): 231 ID (Infx2, ?? - Conrath, L3)
    34.919 men / 167 KIA
    21. Kalvarija 2 (Attack - Plains - Defeat)
    30 Jun 42 04:00 - 21:00
    SU (Mariampolè): 38 SD (Art, AT - Kurasov, L3, Trk)
    SU (Merech): 24 SD (Art, TD - Kazakov V.I., L3)
    32.941 men / 327 KIA
    Ger: 168 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Wünnenberg, L4, OD, BM)

    Ger: 170 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - Krüger W., L3)
    23.982 men / 370 KIA
    22. Bialystok (Defence - Forest - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
    28 Jun 42 01:00 - 01 Jul 42 22:00
    SU: 4 SD (Art, AT - Firin, L2-3), 34 SD (Art, AT - Vasilev, L2)
    21.507 men / 994 KIA
    Ger (Lomza): 69 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Crüwell, L2, BM), 5 ID (Infx3 - Lindemann, L3), 12 ID (Infx3 - Böhme, L3)
    34.973 men / 1.538 KIA
    23. Merech (Defence - Marsh - Victory)
    28 Jun 42 01:00 - 02 Jul 42 13:00
    SU (Multiple Combat Penalty): 24 SD (Art, AT - Kazakov V.I., L2-3), 6 SD (Art, AT - Tamruchi, L2)
    21.174 men / 622 KIA
    Ger (Suwalki): 57 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Rommel, L5, LW, OD, Trk, BM)
    Ger (
    Kalvarija): 197 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Kleemann, L2), 170 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - Krüger W., L3)
    31.777 men / 412 KIA
    24. Kobryn (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    28 Jun 42 07:00 - 02 Jul 42 18:00
    SU: I SK HQ (HQ, Infx2, AT - Vlassov, L3-4, WS), 71 SD (Art, TD - Krivoshein, L2)
    18.257 men / 1.048 KIA
    Ger (Maloryta): SSD 'Reich' (WSSx2, ?? - von Randow, L2, LW, BM)
    7.995 men /
    774 KIA
    Army Group 2 totals:
    SU: 464.721 / 20.596 KIA
    Ger: 577.713 / 15.622 KIA​
    Southern Main Front (3 AG / Brjansk HQ)
    :
    Waffen-SS-min.jpg

    Motorised Waffen-SS troops, part of SS-Division (mot) 'Reich', on their way to attack Brzesc Litewski.

    In the south the war started with two battles, an hour-long failed German probe, across the river, into Sanok (1), and an attack on Przemysl (4) that would last 2 days, both started at 7pm.

    Here too, 1am was a particularly popular time to start battles, on the 23rd the battle in question was a German attack on Zolkiew (2).

    The battle for Zolkiew (2) ended in defeat at noon on the 24th, with heavy casualties, especially on our side, where almost 3.000 men were lost, almost 3 times German losses. At 4pm, the Germans started attacking Jaworow (3), across the river, with little success, they halted the attack a mere 2 hours later, at 6pm. Przemysl (4) was lost at the same time, with Soviet casualties over 2.500, three times German losses.

    On the 25th, Lt. General Vlassov tried it's hand at a 1am attack, attempting to retake Maloryta (5) using only his I SK HQ Division. Up against the SS, who were taking full advantage of Soviet-built fortifications, Vlassov cut short his attack 2 hours after it started, with light casualties on both sides. The rest of the day was quiet, with no active battles in the Southern Theatre (Brjansk HQ)

    The calm remained until the evening of the 26th, when, at 10pm, a German Division moved to attack Luboml (6), held by 2 of our, larger, rifle Divisions. The Germans abandoned the attack by midnight, having inflicted only a single Soviet casualty.

    The 27th would see an escalation of German aggression, starting at 1am, with another attack on Jaworow (8). This one was more serious, as the Germans were also attacking from Przemysl, circumventing the need to cross the river. Lubolm (16) was attacked again at 7am, from three sides this time, all across rivers. In an attempt to relieve the pressure on Luboml, the Red Army attacked Zolkiew (7) at 10am, hitting the flank of one of the Divisions that was attacking Luboml.

    The Soviet attack on Zolkiew (7) was abandoned at 3am on the 28th, with relatively light casualties in favour of the Red Army. At 7am, a large German force charged across the river into Switaz (11), the province was strongly held, and fierce fighting broke out.

    At 4am on the 29th, the second battle of Jaworow (8) ended in a costly Soviet victory, with over 2.500 dead on our side, nearly twice the German losses. A 6am single Division Soviet probe across the river into Jaroslaw (9) was quickly cut short as the riflemen were outnumbered 4-1, and the Germans had tanks, a couple hundred Soviet soldiers died before it was called off. Having failed to take Jaworow (10) with 4 Divisions from 2 sides, the Wehrmacht tried again at 9am, with a single Division, across the river. Twelve hours later, at 9pm, the Germans called off their offensive, leaving behind over 500 dead, casualties being 10-1 in favour of the Red Army.

    The German obsession with Jaworow (15), was combined with the typical 1am start time in another attack on the province on the 30th. The battle for Switaz (11) was won conclusively by the Red Army at 8am, with over 1.000 Soviet losses, but close to 2.000 German ones. At 10am, another Soviet attack was launched into Maloryta (10), from the South this time. This 2 DIvision attack was stronger than the previous one, but the Germans had also reinforced the province. One of the German Divisions was distracted by it's own attack into Kobryn (see above). An hour-long probe into Switaz (13) was successfully brushed off by 1pm with 10-1 casualties in our favour. Then, at 9pm, our attack into Maloryta (10) was called off, with surprisingly light casualties.

    The 1st of July saw little action. At 10pm, a third attack on Switaz (17) started. It doesn't seem more likely than the previous ones to succeed, but our troops there are getting a bit disorganised, so maybe they'll break first.

    On the 2nd of July, German troops probed the defences of Lwow (14), met with a corps of Guards Riflemen, including IS-2 Heavy Tanks, and our favourite female sharpshooter, they abandoned the attack by 6am, barely an hour after the first shot. Casualties were limited, but 10-1 in favour of the Soviet Union. After 4 battles totalling over 3 days of fighting Jaworow (15) was lost at 6pm, with close to 1.000 Soviet casualties in the final battle, almost double the German deathtoll. At the same time, the second battle of Luboml (16) ended in a costly victory, after nearly 6 days of fighting. Soviet casualties were close to 2.000, German ones closer to 1.500.

    GWP3AG_42-07-02.jpg

    Map of Brjansk HQ's front line (blue). The smaller circles indicate small scale battles (in number of Red Army troops involved).
    The Southern part of the front has held a lot better, this is thanks to a slightly higher concentration of units, and the fact that most of this part of the front is behind the river.

    1. Sanok (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    22 Jun 42 19:00 - 20:00
    SU: 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk), 159 SD (Art, AT - Novoselski, L2), 139 SD (Art, AT - Panfilov, L2), 2 SD (Art, AT - Sergatskov, L2),
    189 SD (AT - Korhilov, L2)
    53.994 men / 24 KIA
    Ger (Gorlice - River Crossing): 75 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Hilpert, L3, OD)
    Ger (
    Debica - River Crossing): 8 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Heunert, L2), 11 PzD (Arm, Mot, Mot-AA, Eng - von Bismarck, L2):
    23.994 men / 234 KIA
    2. Zolkiew (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    23 Jun 42 01:00 - 24 Jun 42 12:00
    SU: 122 SD (Art, AT - Nikishin, L2), 87 SD (Art, TD - Missan, L2), 42 SD (Art, AT - Krutikov, L2), 49 SD (Art, AT - Rivkin, L2),
    113 SD (AT - Baranov V.I., L2)
    54.107 men / 2.867 KIA
    Ger (Zamosc): 60 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Raus, L3, BM), 45 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Felber, L3), 62 ID (Infx2, TD, Eng - von Knobelsdorf, L3),
    5 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA - Phleps, L3)
    Ger (Rawa Ruska): 4 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Eng - von Cochenhausen, L2), 223 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Felber, L3)
    47.951 men /
    1.139 KIA
    3. Jaworow (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    24 Jun 42 16:00 - 18:00
    SU: 75 SD (Art, TD - Ptuhin, L3), 45 SD (Art, AT - Lazarev, L2), 169 SD (Art, AT - Bondarev, L2)
    32.974 men /
    43 KIA
    Ger (Jaroslaw - River Crossing): 2 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Jodl A., L3, OD), SSD 'Wiking' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA, Eng - von Manteuffel, L4),
    SSD 'LSAH' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA - Gudowius, L2),
    24.876 men / 133 KIA
    4. Przemysl (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    22 Jun 42 19:00 - 24 Jun 42 18:00
    SU: 11 SD (Art, TD - Leselidze, L2, FB), 130 SD (Art, AT - Petin, L2, LW)
    21.975 men /
    2.539 KIA
    Ger (Rawa Ruska): 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Model, L6, DD, BM), 8 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - von Sponeck, L2), 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Heinrici, L5)
    Ger (Jaroslaw - River Crossing): SS-Verfügungstruppe (WSS)
    26.992 men /
    786 KIA
    5. Maloryta 2 (Attack- Plains - Defeat)
    25 Jun 42 01:00 - 03:00
    SU (Brzesc Litewski): I SK HQD (HQ, Infx2, AT - Vlassov, L3, WS)
    7.994 men / 25 KIA
    Ger: SSD 'Reich' (WSSx2, ?? - von Randow, L2, LW, BM)
    7.957 men / 10 KIA
    6. Luboml (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    26 Jun 42 22:00 - 27 Jun 42 00:00
    SU: 14 SD (Art, AT - Trofimenko, L3), 17 SD (Art, AT - Odintsov, L2)
    21.990 men /
    1 KIA
    Ger (Zamosc): 60 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Raus, L3, BM)
    7.998 men / 100 KIA
    7. Zolkiew 2 (Attack - Plains - Defeat)
    27 Jun 42 10:00 - 28 Jun 42 03:00
    SU (Wlodzimierz Wolynski - River Crossing): 87 SD (Art, TD - Missan, L2, LW)
    10.677 men / 535 KIA
    Ger (Multiple Combat Penalty): 4 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Eng - von Cochenhausen, L2, Eng), 223 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Hollidt, L3)
    26.992 men / 786 KIA
    8. Jaworow 2 (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    27 Jun 42 01:00 - 29 Jun 42 04:00
    SU: 75 SD (Art, TD - Ptuhin, L3), 45 SD (Art, AT - Lazarev, L2), 169 SD (Art, AT - Bondarev, L2)
    32.997 men /
    2.649 KIA
    Ger (Jaroslaw - River Crossing): 2 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Jodl A., L3-4, OD), SSD 'Wiking' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA, Eng - von Manteuffel, L4),
    SSD 'LSAH' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA - Gudowius, L2), 93 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - von Bismarck L2)
    Ger (Przemysl): 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Model, L6), 8 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - von Sponeck, L2), SS-Verfügungstruppe (WSS)
    47.454 men / 1.585 KIA
    9. Jaroslaw (Attack - Plains - Defeat)
    29 Jun 42 06:00
    SU (Sanok - River Crossing): 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk)
    10.812 men / 227 KIA
    Ger: 2 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Jodl A., L4, OD), 93 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - von Bismarck L2), SSD 'Wiking' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA, Eng - von Manteuffel, L4),
    SSD 'LSAH' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA - Gudowius, L2), 211 ID (Infx2, ?? - Eberle, L1)
    39.574 men / 7 KIA
    10. Jaworow 3 (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    29 Jun 42 09:00 - 21:00
    SU: 45 SD (Art, AT - Lazarev, L2, BM), 169 SD (Art, AT - Bondarev, L2)
    20.450 men /
    56 KIA
    Ger (Jaroslaw - River Crossing): 211 ID (Infx2, ?? - Eberle, L1, BM)
    7.973 men /
    540 KIA
    11. Switaz (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    28 Jun 42 07:00 - 30 Jun 08:00
    SU: 54 SD (Art, AT - Chernyak, L2), 104 SD (Art, AT - Tiulenev, L2), 23 SD (Art, AT - Dement'ev, L2)
    32.991 men /
    1.239 KIA
    Ger (Chelm - River Crossing): 3 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - von Manstein, L7, OD, Trk, BM, FB), 16 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, Mot-AA - von Massow, L2),
    46 ID (Infx2, AT, Eng - von Mackensen, L4), Kav-Kdo (Cavx2 - Eicke, L4)
    31.983 men / 1.932 KIA
    12. Maloryta 3 (Attack - Plains - Fort Level 1,47 - Defeat)
    30 Jun 42 10:00 - 21:00
    SU (Switaz): 54 SD (Art, AT - Chernyak, L2), 23 SD (Art, AT - Dement'ev, L2)
    21.451 men /
    65 KIA
    Ger (Multiple Combat Penalty): 5 GbjD (Mtnx3 - Kuntze, L2), SSD 'Reich' (WSSx2, ?? - von Randow, L2), 231 ID (Infx2, ?? - Conrath, L3)
    25.497 men /
    98 KIA
    13. Switaz 2 (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    30 Jun 42 12:00 - 13:00
    SU: 54 SD (Art, AT - Chernyak, L2), 104 SD (Art, AT - Tiulenev, L2), 23 SD (Art, AT - Dement'ev, L2)
    31.685 men /
    7 KIA
    Ger (Chelm - River Crossing): 4 LeichteD (Motx2, AC - Geib, L4, DD)
    6.997 men /
    72 KIA
    14. Lwow (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
    02 Jul 42 05:00 - 06:00
    SU: XXIX GvSK (HQ, Gdsx2, AT - Popov M.M., L4, DD), 72 GvSD (TD, Eng - Rotsmistrov, L3), 10 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng - Novikov N.A., L3),
    76 GvSD (AT, Eng - Barinov, L3), 77 GvSD (AT, Eng - Badanov, L3)
    62.809 men / 5 KIA
    Ger (Przemysl): 95 ID (Infx2, ?? - Böttcher F., L3, BM)
    7.959 men /
    54 KIA
    15. Jaworow 4 (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    30 Jun 42 01:00 - 02 Jul 42 18:00
    SU: 45 SD (Art, AT - Lazarev, L2, BM), 169 SD (Art, AT - Bondarev, L2)
    20.393 men /
    928 KIA
    Ger (Jaroslaw - River Crossing): SSD 'Wiking' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA, Eng - von Manteuffel, L4, DD, BM), SS-Verfügungstruppe (WSS)
    Ger (Przemysl): 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Model, L6)
    7.973 men / 540 KIA
    16. Luboml 2 (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    27 Jun 42 07:00 - 02 Jul 42 18:00
    SU: 14 SD (Art, AT - Trofimenko, L3), 17 SD (Art, AT - Odintsov, L2, FB)
    21.998 men /
    1.827 KIA
    Ger (Zamosc - River Crossing): 5 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA - Phleps, L3, OD), 4 LeichteD (Motx2, AC - Geib, L4)
    Ger (Zolkiew - River Crossing): 4 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Eng - von Cochenhausen, L2)
    Ger (
    Chelm - River Crossing): 60 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Raus, L3, BM)
    38.848 men / 1.410 KIA
    Army Group 3 totals:
    SU: 480.468 / 13.659 KIA
    Ger: 577.713 / 10.289 KIA​
    VVS Bombardment
    :
    7 Bomber and Assault Aviation Divisions were deployed and have been flying Ground Attack missions in support of ground troops. Nearly 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. In consequence, more aeroplanes were lost than in comparable bombing operations in Finland, where AAA regiments were unheard of.

    - 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
    - Debica (1 / 4 / 186)
    - Chelm (3 / 5 / 385)
    - Johannisburg (9 / 12 / 1.195)
    - Siedlce (5 / 11 / 754)
    - Suwalki (4 / 3 / 340)
    II BAK - Ftr, Tacx2 - 124 La-7, 200 Yak-4 - 524 airmen - Vinnytsya - Lt. Gen. Av. Yakovlev, L3, TB
    - Gorlice (1 / 2 / 215)
    - Zamosc (4 / 3 / 626)
    - Jaroslaw (6 / 21 / 861)
    - Zamosc (2 / 8 / 228)
    V ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Goryunov, L2
    - Gumbinnen (2 / 3 / 192)
    - Tilsit (1 / 7 / 141)
    - Rietavas (1 / 0 / 78)
    - Memel (11 / 3 / 1.383)
    - Suwalki (2 / 7 / 203)
    - Lomza (5 / 8 / 413)
    - Kalvarija (2 / 5 / 243)
    I ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Zhigarev, L3, TB
    - Ostroleka (4 / 5 / 505)
    - Przemysl (6 / 10 / 1.001)
    - Jaroslaw (3 / 6 / 528)
    I BAK - Ftr, Tacx2 - 124 La-7, 200 Yak-4 - 524 airmen - Minsk - Lt. Gen. Av. Golovanov, L3, CB
    - Ostrow (5 / 20 / 818)
    - Tilsit (5 / 6 / 668)
    - Kalvarija (6 / 4 / 789)
    IV ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Rudenko, L2, TB
    - Rawa Ruska (7 / 20 / 927)
    - Zolkiew (15 / 30 / 2.063)
    III ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Kutakhov, L3, TB
    - Pogegen (16 / 6 / 2.026)
    - Zambrow ( 4 / 24 / 634)
    After it's return from the Far East, 1 DBAD was put to work on a series of Logistical strikes to slow down the small German breakthrough in Maloryta:

    - Province (Number of Missions, Aircraft lost, Heavy AAA guns destroyed (10 AA guns / Level), Infra damage, Supplies destroyed (Tonnes), Fuel destroyed (x10 Barrels))

    III ShAK - Str - 82 TB-3 - 656 airmen - Homel - Maj. Gen. Av. Kalinin, L2
    - Maloryta (6 / 0 / 5 / 3,4 / 124 / 50,6)
    VVS Bombing Totals:
    VVS losses to AAA: 131 Missions / 233 planes (45 Yak-4's, 111 Il-10s, 77 La-7's) / 389 KIA
    Ger Bombing losses: 16.933 KIA / 5 AAA guns / 3,4 Infra / 124 Supplies / 50,6 Fuel

    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.
    GPW42-07-02VVS-min (1).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.
    Air Battles:
    The first aerial encounters with the Luftwaffe were linked to operation 'Thor', they were successful despite significant losses.

    On the main front, it took until 6pm on the 25th of June (3 days into the war), for the Luftwaffe to make it's first apparition over the front. A single damaged Jagdgeschwäder intercepted our bombers over Pogegen (5), Soviet interceptors were scrambled, and many Bf-109G's were shot out of the sky. The JG in question wasn't seen again, VVS bombing operations could continue as before, thanks to a reserve Assault Aviation Division that was rotated into Kaunas.

    Getting absolutely hammered by incessant VVS Ground Attacks, the Luftwaffe attempted to return the favour. On the 27th, first Jaworow (3) at 6pm, then Luboml (4) at 7pm, were targeted by Tactical Bombers. Before they could unleash their deadly load on our troops, the Ju-88s, and their FW-190D escorts came under fire from swarms of Yak-7s, they were decimated, returned to their Air Bases, and didn't return. This would be a recurring theme, with Soviet Interceptor units suffering only marginal losses, and German Tacticai Bomber units being decimated.

    Another Luftflotte with Tactical Bombers tried the same thing at 1pm on the 28th, attempting to bomb Jaworow (6), it met the same fate and wasn't seen again.

    On the 30th, two more German bomber formations made attempts, first on Mariampole (7), and then on Jaworow (8). With the same result. Soviet Fighter squadrons were rotated, as to be able to send the freshest units into combat, while the orthers repaired closer to Moskva and it's supply hub.

    On the 1st of July, the Red Banner Baltic Fleet was hit by a Gruppe of Heavy Naval bombers in the North-western Baltic (9). The CAGs from Moskva and Leningrad attempted to intercept the bombers in the fog, but some got through and dropped their bombs on the fleet. Both the Escort Carrier Leningrad, and the Light Cruiser Profitern suffered some light damage. The Seeaufklärungsgruppe did pay a heavy toll for this action, and the Red Navy doesn't expect to see the Ju-290As again for quite some time.

    junkers_ju_290_a-5_on_ground-min.jpg

    A Junkers Ju-290 of the Seeaufklärungsgruppe ready to take off to bomb the Red Banner Baltic Fleet (9).

    1. Bornholm (Soviet Airborne Assault / German & Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    23 Jun 42 21:00 - 24:00
    VVS: I TrAK - Ftr, Trax2 - 124 La-7, 248 Li-2 - 620 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Chuvakov, L2
    VMF: 1 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 94 airmen - Moskva (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Zhavronkov, L4
    2 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 94 airmen - Leningrad (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
    496 planes / 808 airmen / 70 downed / 128 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 2, JG 3, JG 109 - Intx3 - 336 Me-109G - 336 airmen - ? - Genlt. Klepke, L2, SAT
    JG 4 - 112 Me-109G - 112 airmen - ? - Genmaj. Fisser, L1
    448 planes / 448 airmen / 35 downed / 34 KIA
    2. Southern Baltic (Soviet Intercept - Weather -10% (fog) - Victory)
    24 Jun 42 04:00 - 07:00
    VMF: 1 KPA - CAG - 28 La-7VM, 29 Il-10VM - 84 airmen - Moskva (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Zhavronkov, L4, FD
    2 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 94 airmen - Leningrad (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
    117 planes / 178 airmen / 6 downed / 9 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 4 - 111 Me-109G - 111 airmen - ? - Genmaj. Fisser, L1, SAT
    111 planes / 111 airmen / 8 downed / 8 KIA
    3. Jaworow (German Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    27 Jun 42 18:00 - 21:00
    VVS: II IAK - Infx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Astakhov, L4
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    26 downed / 26 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 28, KG 3, Stkpfg. - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 186 Ju-88A-4 - 856 airmen - ? - Genlt. Keller, L3, SAT, TB
    298 planes / 856 airmen /
    56 downed / 116 KIA
    4. Luboml (German Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    27 Jun 42 19:00 - 22:00
    VVS: III IAK - Infx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Brzesc Litewski - Lt. Gen. Av. Vorozheikin, L4
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    21 downed / 21 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 104, KG 25, KG 30 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 186 Ju-88A-4 - 856 airmen - ? - Genlt. Sperrle, L5, TB, CB
    298 planes / 856 airmen /
    55 downed / 196 KIA
    5. Pogegen (Soviet Ground Attack / German & Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    25 Jun 42 08:00 - 11:00
    VVS: III ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Kutakhov, L3, TB
    I IAK - Infx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Khudyakov, L4
    868 planes / 1.116 airmen / 19 downed / 37 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 4 - 89 Me-109G - 89 airmen - ? - Genmaj. Fisser, L1, SAT
    89 planes / 89 airmen /
    18 downed / 18 KIA​
    6. Jaworow (German Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    28 Jun 42 13:00 - 16:00
    VVS: II IAK - Infx4 - 491 Yak-7 - 491 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Astakhov, L4, NF
    491 planes / 491 airmen /
    39 downed / 39 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 50, KG 50, KG 76 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 186 Ju-88A-4 - 856 airmen - ? - Genlt. Dörstling, L3, TB
    298 planes / 856 airmen /
    62 downed / 140 KIA
    7. Mariampolè (German Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    30 Jun 42 21:00 - 00:00
    VVS: III IAK - Infx4 - 487 Yak-7 - 487 airmen - Brzesc Litewski - Lt. Gen. Av. Vorozheikin, L4
    487 planes / 487 airmen /
    15 downed / 15 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 51, KG 4, KG 1 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 186 Ju-88A-4 - 856 airmen - ? - Genlt. Stumpff, L3, FD
    298 planes / 856 airmen /
    64 downed / 70 KIA
    8. Jaworow (German Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    30 Jun 42 22:00 - 31 Jun 42 01:00
    VVS: II IAK - Infx4 - 491 Yak-7 - 491 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Astakhov, L4, NF
    491 planes / 491 airmen /
    39 downed / 39 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 7, KG 53, KG 2 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 186 Ju-88A-4 - 856 airmen - ? - Genlt. Kesselring, L5, TB
    298 planes / 856 airmen /
    64 downed / 106 KIA
    9. North-Western Baltic (German Naval Strike / Soviet CAG Duty - Weather -12,5% (fog) - Victory)
    01 Jul 42 12:00 - 15:00
    VMF: 2 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 94 airmen - Leningrad (North-Western Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
    7 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 94 airmen - Moskva (North-Western Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Kapitochin, L2
    124 planes / 186 airmen / 2 downed / 3 KIA
    Luftwaffe: Seeaufklärungsgruppe - 36 Ju-290A-5 - 324 airmen - ? - Oberst Ritter, L3, FD
    36 planes / 324 airmen / 8 downed / 72 KIA
    VMF: Red Banner Baltic Fleet - 2 BB, 2 CVL, CA, CL, 6 DD, TP - 10.606 sailors - V.Adm. Kuznetsov 4, ST
    13 naval units / 41 ships / 10.606 sailors / 500 merchantmen / Leningrad (CVL) -3% / Profitern (CL) -10% / 78 sailors KIA
    Air Battle Totals:

    VVS: 7 battles / 3.701 (2.957 Yak-7, 248 La-7, 248 Il-10, 248 Li-2) / 120 (120 Yak-7, 18 Il-10, 37 La-7, 27 Li-2) / 274 KIA
    VMF (Air Fleet): 3 battles / 365 (182 La-7VM, 183 Il-10VM) / 15 (8 La-7VM, 7 Il-10VM) / 22 KIA
    VMF (Surface Fleet): 13 units / 41 ships (2 BB, 2 CVL, CA, CL, 6 DD, TP) / CVL -3% / CL -10% / 78 KIA

    Luftwaffe: 9 battles / 1 Naval strike / 2.174 (648 Me-109G, 560 FW-190D, 930 Ju-88A-4, 36 Ju-290A-5) / 369 (60 Me-109G, 192 FW-190D, 109 Ju-88A-4, 8 Ju-290A) / 752 KIA
    Ju-88A4Crashed-min.jpg

    A Junkers Ju-88, crashed in the fields of Jaworow. The 4-man crew died on impact, or so it seems.
    Convoy Raiding:
    Baltic Sea: 2 German convoys sunk
    After initial success, the Germans started to add escorts to their convoys. This lead to our small submarine units reporting that the convoys they encountered were too well defended for them to attempt an attack. In response to this development, two submarine Fleets (I FP & VI FP) were combined at sea into a single Fleet of 5 Flotillas, or 25 Submarines. (I Flotiliya Podlodok) As soon as he returns to port Captain 1st Class Gorshkov, L3, now acting Counter-Admiral, will be officially promoted to Counter-Admiral to reflect the increased number of submarines under his command, and reward his early convoy-raiding successes.

    SeriesII_Shchuka-Class-min.jpg

    A Series-II Submarine of I. Flotiliya Podlodok in the Baltic Sea
    Total numbers (GPW):

    GWPOV_42-07-02-min.jpg


    Total Ground losses:

    SU: 945.189 / 34.255 KIA (ground)
    Ger: 999.012 / 42.844 KIA (25.911 (ground), 16.933 (air))

    Total Navy losses:

    VMF (Surface Fleet): 13 units / 41 ships / CVL -3% (air) / CL -10% (air) / 78 KIA
    Kriegsmarine: 2 convoys lost

    Total Air Losses:

    VVS: 3.701 (Air Battles Only) / 353 (120 Yak-7, 129 Il-10, 114 La-7, 45 Yak-4, 27 Li-2) / 663 KIA
    VMF (Air Fleet): 365 (Air Battles only) / 15 (8 La-7VM, 7 Il-10VM) / 22 KIA
    Total SU: 4.066 (Air Battles Only) / 368 / 685 KIA
    Luftwaffe: 2.174 (Air Battles only) / 369 (60 Me-109G, 192 FW-190D, 109 Ju-88A-4, 8 Ju-290A) / 752 KIA

    Total Losses:

    35.018 (SU) / 43.596 (Ger)
    Those first ten days were packed with action, with expected, and unexpected developments. What do you think about where the war is going? What do you think about the reporting style? As always, your input is valued,

    Greetings,

    'Odin'
    Edit 01/09: Small corrections to the statistics, and to 3 AG map.
     
    Last edited:
    2nd of July 1942, 'Odin', 'Tri': A triple declaration, in triplicate.
  • roverS3

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    The 2nd of July 1942, Vologda, 6,3°C, 7pm Moscow Time

    In the war-room in the Secret Committee's main bunker in Vologda, we were having some top shelf Stolichnaya. The first toast was to Joseph Stalin, the second in honour of the sacrifices made by our Soviet servicemen, the third to congratulate everyone present for the work done in support of the war. Before we could make a fourth toast and start to get really wasted, the direct telephone line to the Kremlin rang. I picked up, it was 'Tri', he could barely contain his laughter, it was as if he was about to tell a joke, and in a way he was. He told me to put him on the speakers so everyone could enjoy his story. I indulged him:

    I'm sorry, I can't get the image out of my head, sure, the implications are very serious, but the scene was just so funny. I'll start at the beginning, the whole thing took barely ten minutes.

    I was finishing up some diplomatic cables to Stockholm in my office in the Kremlin, when I heard some commotion outside. The situation was later described to me by one of the guards. I quote:

    'NKVD and Police were yelling for everyone to clear the street outside the Kremlin's entrance. About ten seconds later, three diplomatic cars roared into view, three abreast. They drove right through the gates without stopping, barely squeezing through the large passageway. Followed by NKVD officers on motorcycles.'

    Another guard, on posted just outside the main palace's entrance, told me what happened next:

    'The three large cars came to a screeching halt, one next to the other, right in front of the entrance to the main building, the drivers got out, sprinted to the rear doors of their respective cars, and opened them almost simultaneously. Out came three top level diplomats.'

    That was the commotion I had picked up on. I got out of my office to go downstairs and see the source of the noise. I didn't need to, as it was coming to me, or rather to comrade Stalin's office, a couple of doors down the hall. I recognised the three diplomats, they were, from left to right:

    Jozsef Kristoffy, Hungarian Minister plenipotentiary in Moscow

    Augusto Rosso, Italian Ambassador in Moscow

    Ivan Stamenov, Bulgarian Minister plenipotentiary in Moscow

    I still can't get the image of these three dignified diplomats bustling down the hall, as quickly as possible without having to resort to running. It was a race all right. They arrived at Stalin's office, and before the secretary could say anything, all three started talking at the same time. From what I could make out, they all had an urgent message of the utmost importance for the leader of the Soviet Union and it's government. A heated argument broke out between the three, on who would go first, and even more important who would go last, then, the secretary interceded, telling them that they could just as well go in all three at the same time or our Comrade Secretary General might never hear the urgent news they had. The three diplomats spoke amongst themselves for about 30 seconds, before they went in, three abreast. During their discussion I had quietly moved towards them, and now, as they went in, I ducked into our little maintenance cupboard/secret observation room. In near unison, they exclaimed:

    In the name of Victor Emmanuel III, king of Italy, the Kingdom of Italy...

    In the name of Boris III, king of Bulgaria, the Kingdom of Bulgaria...”

    In the name of Miklos Horty, Regent of Hungary, the Kingdom of Bulgaria...”

    They all paused, before ending their sentences, in perfect unison, with “...hereby declares war on the Soviet Union.” And then, pulling the official declarations of war out of their pockets in an almost choreographed movement, they continued:

    This is the written declaration of war, you will find all of my government's grievances and claims in there. I will leave Moscow within 24 hours.”

    I had to do my utmost not to burst out laughing and reveal my presence. As soon as they left the room, Stalin started bellowing from laughter. I joined him in his office, he said:

    'I get it, they've come to declare war on the Soviet Union, but why did they do it all at once, those 5 minutes aren't going to matter in the grand scheme of the war.'

    And then I told him why:

    At least 2 of those three countries didn't really want to join the war, and as long as none of them did, the Germans had to treat them all the same, all the while applying diplomatic pressure on all of them to get them to declare war on us. Now, if one of those three European Axis members were to declare war on the Soviet Union before the others, it would probably be viewed in a favourable light in Berlin, and thus enjoy all kinds of special Germanic attention. If one of the three were to drag it's feet for a lot longer than the others, it would be left out to dry. I don't know exactly how it started, but it seems one of the three ambassadors started writing a declaration of war, the news leaked, and the two others hurried to do the same, even declaring war minutes after one of the other countries would be seen by Berlin as a reaction, and thus the first to officially declare war could still benefit significantly. So, they all raced each other right to the door of Stalin's office.

    The funniest part is, of course, that none of them managed to get ahead. I ran downstairs just in time to see their vehicles, to try and understand how it was possible that none of them had managed to outpace the others. Did they all have the exact same car? No. they did not. Their cars, while very different, are quite close in real world performance, that lead to them being three abreast for most of the way, with none of them able to durably outpace the others. In short, the Italian ambassador's car is very powerful but weighs more than some of the Red Army's armoured cars. The Bulgarian Minister's normal-sized Lancia sedan has a third of the power, for a third of the weight. And the Hungarian Minister's Austro-Daimler is closer to the Italian ambassador's Isotta Fraschini in size, but somewhat less heavy, but also slightly less powerful.

    Isotta_Fraschini8B-min.jpg

    The Italian ambassadors 1934 Isotta Fraschini Typo 8B limousine has the highest power output at 160hp, thanks to a 7.4l straight 8 engine. This is impressive, until you realise that the car weighs over 2,700 kg's, something that puts a serious damper on acceleration, braking, and cornering performance.


    Austro-Daimler_ADR_8_1932-min.jpg

    The Hungarian Minister's 1932 Austro-Daimler ADR 8 'Alpine' limousine has a slightly less outrageous 4.6 liter straight 8 engine, putting out a still impressive 110hp. It also weighs in at a mere 2 tonnes, giving it pretty similar performance compared to it's Italian counterpart.

    LanciaAprilia1939-min.jpg

    The Bulgarian Minister, without anything resembling a national auto-mobile industry, had the smallest car of the three, an Italian-built front wheel drive 1939 Lancia Aprilia 438 4-door sedan. This one is powered by a 1.5 liter 4-cylinder unit putting out a mere 49hp. Despite the significant power disadvantage, the Minister's driver had no trouble keeping up, as the Aprilia weighs in at 900 kg, and it's body was the most streamlined of the three cars.
    Now, for the serious implications. The Italians and the Bulgarians will need time to relocate their units towards the front, and in the case of the Italians, they are quite occupied already. The Hungarians, on the other hand, already have most of their army on our border, and are thus expected to join the fight any day now. Bye, hope you liked my story"
    Despite the fact that some of the people in the room were still laughing, this was indeed a serious development. General Volskiy of 4ya Armiya, believes he will not be able to durably hold the Hungarians back, if they attack. That said, he doesn't expect for his forces to be routed either, so I guess we'll be all right on that front, at least for now. Otherwise, we may have to pull units from the Romanian border to shore up his defences, and pray the Romanians stay out of it. Considering they're still distant towards German diplomats, though not as distant as they are towards Soviet ones, i don't think they'll join the Axis anytime soon, but you never know, of course.

    On the Naval front, the entry of Bulgaria, and especially Italy, into the war, opens up new threats, but also the potential for a possible blow into Balkans, or Italy, and/or the conquest of more forward bases in the shape of currently Italian-controlled islands. Submarines are currently relocating to Mythiléné to do some convoy raiding, and as soon as the Carrier Fleet gets there, I'm sure it'll have plenty of targets. The advantage of the Mediterranean theatre, is that the weather isn't too bad in the winter, and thus operations there are still possible while operations on the main front, let alone in Scandinavia are slowed down by the freezing weather, snowstorms, etc.


    I'm far too drunk to be thinking clearly about this right now, but I thought you should know we are now at war with all of the European Axis members,

    Greetings,

    'Odin'


    Your writAAR is not actually drunk right now, though he possibly was when he didn't take a screenshot of Hungary when it declared war on the Soviet Union. All three countries declared war at exactly the same time in-game, so I thought of this little scenario to explain why.

    Maybe I was drunk when I wrote this after all. As @37th Armoured div pointed out, I wrote this:
    In the name of Miklos Horty, Regent of Hungary, the Kingdom of Bulgaria...”
    Let's just say that the Hungarian Minister Plenipotentiary misspoke in a diplomatic gaffe of monumental proportions, the whole event was too confusing for him. I did nothing wrong, it's all this fictional Jozsef Kristoffy's fault. Obviously.

    Of course, I wondered what kind of car they would be driving, something that led me to some serious research into pre-ww2 Italian and Hungarian Automobile production. Sadly the mid-twenties, Luxurious, but overpriced, MAG Magosix had no successor. (it was more expensive to buy than a Caddilac V-16, and it had 'only' a straight 6) That would have been a shoo-in for the Hungarian Minister's car. Instead I went for an internationally developed car, of which parts were made in Hungary, as part of the previously Austro-Hungarian Austro-Daimler. Austro-Daimler started as the Austro-Hungarian retailer for Daimler, and when Daimler couldn't meed Austro-Hungarian demand, they branched out into making their own cars, eventually splitting off from the 'mother' company. Ferdinand Porshe started out at Austro-Daimler, and they made some excellent cars for the time, before being bought up by Steyr of Austria in 1934. The ADR 8 was the penultimate car to come out of Austro-Daimler, the last model being the excellent ADR 6 open-top sportscar, with a 120hp straight six Porshe-designed engine. The Bulgarians only built a few Armoured Cars based of FIAT chassis, so I suspect they would have bought something Italian. The Aprilia isn't as luxurious as the others, but it's nice and zippy, and of a normal size (for the time), so there's that. It's also slightly more expensive, a bit faster, slightly more modern, and a bit less mainstream than the Fiat 1500, which was it's primary competition in Italy.
    For reference, today's mid-size sedans are closer in size to the ADR 8 and the Typo 8B than to the Aprilia or the 1500, which are the size of today's hatchbacks.
     
    Last edited:
    8th of July 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #201
  • roverS3

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    The 8th of July 1942, Moscow, 5,5°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

    Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 29th of June and the 8th of July 1942,

    by 'Odin'

    Army:
    3 new Artillery Regiments, 138 AP, 141 AP, and 142 AP, have been deployed, to 181 SD, 27 SD, and 183 SD respectively.
    Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
    Front line troops: 703 / 2.109.000
    Support troops: 368 / 368.000
    Total fighting troops: 1.071 / 2.477.000
    Headquarters: 64 / 64.000
    Total Army Personnel: 1.135 / 2.541.000
    Officers: 106.387 + / 112.950 needed / 194 KIA / 94,189 %
    Active Leaders: 285 / 213 more available
    Artillery production for new units was significantly reduced, and no new orders were placed, as we continue to address the backlog of equipment to be replaced or upgraded in existing units.
    Air Force:
    No changes to the VVS, nor to the Navy Air Fleet, for the last 10 days.​

    Navy:
    No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.​

    Politics / International:
    Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria have declared war on the Soviet Union.
    Battle of Britain
    The Air War intensified, with a large number of battles and bombings, this is possibly due to an ever increasing number of British bombers operating from the British Isles. This may explain why the Luftwaffe still can't spare any interceptor fighters for their Eastern Front:
    8 aerial battles were fought over Portsmouth, with no bombers getting through. In Dover, the Luftwaffe had more luck, flying 2 successful port strikes, before being intercepted by the RAF.
    In Germany, Leipzig was bombed 4 times, with German fighters intercepting the bombers on the way there, and on the way back, over Dortmund.
    Other aerial fights happened over Northern France, with 6 battles over Lannion, 100km east of Brest, 2 battles over Cherbourg, and a single battle over Paris.
    German submarines seem to have gone out into the Atlantic again, sinking 23 British convoys. British submarines, and surface units, sunk a total of 56 Axis convoys. Somehow, German trade seems to be alive and kicking. (though not for much long
    Athens - Greece

    No changes here.
    North Africa Front:
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,3
    Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,2

    Still no movement on the ground.
    The Royal Navy parked a Carrier just off-shore, bombing Bardia an impressive 97 times with CAGs. (We all know how well CAGs are at Ground Attack...). The fleet in question also managed to sink a convoy bound for Tobruch.
    The RN Coastal Naval Command executed a total of 6 unopposed Port Strikes on Tunis Harbour.
    The RAF had less luck, with their Halifaxes being intercepted and decimated twice over Firenze, without managing to hit any of the target area.

    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)
    DEIF42-07-08-min.jpeg

    Following up their landing in Oosthaven, Japanese forces spread out. Some moved towards Palembang, the current Dutch capital, and the site of some very impressive oil refineries. Others managed to cross the Sunda Strait, and made their way to Batavia, capturing the city, with it's mid-sized port, and equally mid-sized Air Base. Still with no way to get supplies, the Dutch forces simply fled in front of the Japanese advance, without firing a shot.
    The convoy war has, once more, reached a very high intensity, with 138 Allied convoys sunk, for a mere 30 Axis convoy losses.
    The naval news gets worse. It seems that the RAN was doing most of the Allied convoy raiding with their main fleet. It was intercepted by several significantly more powerful IJN fleets during their time in the South China See. Most of their fleet was sunk:

    Two Heavy Cruisers HMAS Australia, and HMAS Canberra were sunk by CAGs from Kaga (CV), and Akagi (CV), respectively. In addition they lost the 3rd, 4th, and 9th Destroyer Flotillas to Sendai (CL), Fuso (BB), and Kaga (CV).
    HMS Rodney did manage to sink 15. Kuchikukantai (DD) in a separate engagement.

    HMASAus&Can-min.jpg

    Top: HMAS Australia firing it's AA guns (presumably at Japanese aeroplanes) Bottom: HMAS Canberra, damaged and capsizing, before she sank to the bottom.
    HMAS Australia and HMAS Canberra were built in Britain as variants of the Kent-Class Heavy Cruiser design of the Royal Navy. Both ships were completed and commissioned in 1928. HMAS Australia was refitted and modernised in 1938-1939, HMAS Canberra wasn't, though some modifications were made during the war. The main armament consists of 4 twin 8 inch turrets, and secondary armament of 4 twin 4 inch weapons. Thanks to their 4-turbine 80.000 shaft horsepower Engines, and their relatively light armour, they could reach a top speed of 31 knots. Sadly aeroplanes fly quite a lot faster than that, and they were unable to escape the air-launched torpedos being thrown at them by the experienced Japanese CAGs.
    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.
    7 Axis convoys were sunk by the USN to the south of Cuba, and another 15 off the Pacific coast of Mexico.

    Industry:
    Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 238 (-2) / 434 (-4) The Germans have taken Bialystok, and it's 2 industrial complexes.
    4 Airbase expansions have been completed, in Demjansk (Level 10), Minsk (Level 7), Helsinki (Level 6), and Batumi (Level 4).
    Two Air Bases have started new expansions: Bornholm (Level 2), and Smolensk (Level 10).
    The Naval Bases in Bornholm and Mythiléné are also being expanded (to Level 2).

    IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
    Upgrades: 124,30 / 154,35 - Despite the arrival of more new equipment designs, upgrade costs have gone down slightly.
    Reinforcement: 32,00 / 32,02 + Ever more reinforcements need to be produced to replace lost equipment at the front.
    Supplies: 59,00 / 60,69 + Supply stockpiles were dwindling, thus supply production was increased
    Production: 192,67 / 200,98 - Production of a CAG wing was put on hold to allow more urgent spending on Upgrades, Reinforcements, and Supplies.
    Consumer Goods: 26,04 / 26,04
    Stockpiles:
    Energy: Maximum tonnes +
    Metal: 99.450 tonnes -
    Rares: 48.630 tonnes -
    Crude: Maximum barrels +
    Supplies: 32.851 tonnes +
    Fuel: 98.784 barrels -
    Money: 1.347 +
    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: 5
    Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,17 (a new spy every 40 days)
    Another Japanese Spy was caught red-handed in the Soviet Union.
    Spy training expenditure was decreased to maintain other LS spending despite the loss of Bialystok.
    Research:
    Supply Organisation (Level 4) has been improved across the board. The new procedures are already helping with the gargantuan task of keeping our German front, including the VVS, supplied with rations, medical equipment, ammunition, and more.
    Now, attention will be given to Civil Defence (Level 4), working out how equipment and infrastructure could be repaired more quickly after they suffer battle damage.
    Our combat Engineers will now be better equipped to deal with fortifications of any kind, with significantly improved Assault Weapons (Level 3).
    The brand new 85 hp GAZ-203 Light Tank Engine (Level 5) will make our lorries, Light Tanks, and Armoured Cars, a bit faster, giving us an edge in manoeuvre warfare.
    Now, our engineers are looking to improve the Reliability of our Medium Tanks (Level 4).

    Leadership distribution:
    Research: 19,50 (-1)
    Espionage: 0,17 (-0.06)
    Diplomacy: 2,09 (-0.10)
    Officers: 11,5 (+1) (69 Officers/day) Another increase in Officer training has come at the cost of some Research, to make sure we keep improving our officer ratios despite losses in the field.
    Total: 33,26 (-0,16) Loss of Bialystok.

    Statistics:
    National Unity: 83,241 =
    Neutrality: 0,00 =
    Dissent: 0,00 =
    Manpower:
    Available: 2.281.000 (-5.000) We're starting to lose manpower, though at this rate, it will take over 126 years of war to completely deplete our pool of recruits.
    Men To reinforce(need): 1.690
    Men To mobilise(need): See above
    Monthly gain: 71.000 Men (1 fully mobilised Infx3, Art, AT Division every 4,9 days)​
    Party Popularity:
    - Communist Party: 58 =
    - Trotskyite: 12 (+1)
    - Bukharinite: 5 (+3)

    - Social-Revolutionary: 4 (+1)
    - Trudoviks: 3 (-4)
    - Kadets: 2 (-1)
    - Octobrists: 5 (+4)

    - Tsarists: 8 (+3)
    - NTS: 1 (-4)
    - POA: 2 (-3)
    It seems German spies are out of business, while Japanese agents continue to spread their royalist ideology. Popularity of capitalist factions has moved around, but there was no net loss. As a whole Communism has won out as a broad movement, though the extra support is sadly not for the ruling party, wannabe communism is still slightly better than Capitalism, Imperialism, or Fascism.
    No changes in Party Organisation
    This Information is accurate on the morning of the 8th of July 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

    'Odin​
     
    Last edited:
    9th of July 1942, 'Odin', 'Devyat', Railway electrification, and resupply by rail, Infrastructure update #16
  • roverS3

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    The 9th of July 1942, Mozhaysk, 10,2°C, 6pm Moscow Time

    After a day in Moskva, I travelled to Mozhaysk following an invitation from 'Devyat'. The train I took from Moskva was held up a couple of times, but never more than 5 minutes at a time, the 110km journey took about 1:45 hours. In peacetime, the express train would do the same trip in 1:05. The station, and especially the train yard next to it, were abuzz with activity. The infrastructure meeting took place in a conference room on the first floor of the station. I found my seat in the back of the room, while 'Devyat' went to the front to present completed and proposed infrastructure improvements. But before that, he clarified why the meeting was taking place in Mozhaysk:

    "Since the war has started, our railway workers have been working day and night. Recently decommissioned locomotives and carriages have been pushed back into service, and production of new locomotives has been accelerated. Recently retired personnel has been drafted back into work to run these older trains. Crews now stay with their train until it has reached it's destination, so that trains don't have to stop at regional boundaries to change crews. Currently 93% of all transport in the Soviet Union happens by rail.

    The line between Moskva and
    Viaz'ma is the main artery of supplies and fuel for the German front north of the Pripyat, nearly all the supplies and fuel for the 2nd Army Group, and all those for the Armoured Army Group come through this railway corridor. He pointed out of the window, at a supply train that was just leaving the rail yard, pulled by an FD-21 steam locomotive.

    Moskva_Mozhaysk-min.jpg

    The railway line between Moskva and Mozhaysk (through the Naro Fominsk area). This is an American-made map from 1953. I expect the railway line to have followed the same path in 1942.

    The 110 km between
    Moskva and Mozhaysk has been upgraded in recent years, a third track was added (and a 4th in some places), and it is fully electrified. The trains on the line are pulled by 'Vladimir Lenin' VL-19 electric locomotives, with a power output of 2.040 kW (2.740 hp). We've made a lot of progress in recent years, improving throughput dramatically. Thanks to rheostatic braking (using the electric engine in reverse to slow down rather quickly, while producing electricity) shortening emergency braking distances, and the fact that electric locomotives don't need to be topped up with coal and water several times every day, the maximum throughput up to Mozhaysk is amongst the highest in the Soviet Union. Only the quad-tracked lines of Moskva's urban railway lines have a higher capacity.

    Vl19-14-min.jpg

    The VL-19 Soviet-built electric locomotive. It is driven by 6 300 kW electric motors (1.800 kW or 2.414 hp in total), which power 6 powered axles, giving it excellent low speed acceleration characteristics. Prewar versions produced a healthy 14.600 kgf (32.187 lbs) of tractive effort, allowing them to pull 1.500 ton trains at a speed up to 40 km/h.
    In the last week, or so, we've started using double traction, and reduced the size of signal blocks, to 800m increase it further still. The trains are loaded and formed directly outside the massive Supply depots and fuel storage facilities dotted around the outskirts of Moskva, they then use Moskva's excellent peripheral rail network to get to the right line, most often this one. These trains typically weigh about 2.500 tonnes fully loaded (not including the weight of the locomotives), and are each pulled, until Mozhaysk, by twin VI-19 locomotives, at an average speed of 40 km/h. I will now go into more detail, but before I do so, a disclaimer. In this analysis, the trains necessary to feed and supply the railroads and their workers will be counted as 'supply trains' for the sake of simplicity, and also because this reflects the reality that 'supply trains' often include food, spare parts, coal, sometimes even water, for railway usage, as well as military equipment and vehicles. Mixed consists are the norm here, except for petroleum products, gasoline of various grades, oil, diesel, which have separate trains, as a safety precaution.

    Trains carrying supplies, equipment, and vehicles have an average length of about 870m, carrying up to 1.620 tonnes of goods. Those moving fuel are much shorter for the same weight, being shorter than 400m, carrying 1.800 cubic metres of fuel. (1.350 tonnes). In total, we can safely move 331.200 cubic metres of fuel (184 fuel trains), and 576.720 tonnes of other goods (356 supply trains) on this line every day. And some days, that's exactly how much is moved. The problem we face is that after Mozhaysk, the line isn't electrified, and thus we have to swap the twin electric VL 19 locomotives for steam locomotives. We try to maximise throughput by using FD-class locomotives. A single FD-20 or FD-21 can pull the same train as two Vladimir Lenin VL-19's at an average speed of 25 km/h. Steam trains also have to stop for coal and water every so often, bringing down their average speed.

    T34OnTrain-min.jpg

    A T-34 tank on a supply train, which is waiting for it's steam locomotive. You can clearly seen how the consists are assembled ad hoc, using flat cars and enclosed cars, depending on the needs at the front.
    Thanks to the heroic efforts of our railroad workers, the rest of the line, all the way to Smolensk and Vitsyebsk, as well as the southern branch line to Homel, have gotten small improvements to allow a maximum daily throughput of 261.000 cubic metres of fuel (145 fuel trains) and 455.220 tonnes of supplies (281 supply trains). This is still amongst the highest in the Soviet Union, but it's not enough. The 90 km stretch between Mozhaysk and Viaz'ma has been saturated with trains since the war with Germany started. The Moskva-Viaz'ma line, before the junctions where many South-West-bound and North-West-bound trains branch off towards Homel and towards the Baltic SSRs, is the busiest in the Soviet Union. Despite the excellent infrastructure, not enough supplies and fuel are getting though. This is why we're having our infrastructure meeting in the station building here, with a view on the operations, outside, where railway crews relentlessly swap electric locomotives for steam locomotives, and vice-versa for incoming trains.

    During peacetime, steam trains were used for most freight into Moskva, but with the increased demand due to the war, we need to take every advantage we can get. This means that Moscow's urban passenger railways are running with old steam locomotives, to allow the vast majority of the Soviet Union's electric locomotives to be deployed on this stretch of track. We need 200 VL-19 locomotives to operate at maximum capacity. Of course, we don't do this most of the time because the track to Viaz'ma has a lower throughput, so in reality, we currently use about 160 locomotives to do the job. The railway ministry has ordered a significant increase in the production of VL-19 electric locomotives from the 'Dynamo' factory in Moskva, which produces the electric motors, and the locomotive plant in Kolomna, which does the final assembly.

    BunchOfFD-20-min.jpg

    A row of FD-20 and FD-21s waiting to be paired up with trains in Mozhaysk. The use of multiple traction could allow for higher through put in certain situation, though even larger trains would probably have to be broken up again closer to the front, which would add an additional stop, and more time, to the journey.
    The FD-20, and FD-21 locomotives were the biggest and most modern prewar mainline freight locomotives of the Soviet Union (if you don't count one-offs and prototypes). The design process was parallel to that of the IS passenger express locomotives. The first drawings date back to 1925, and the first 1-5-2 design was ready for production in 1926. As there were no factories in the Soviet Union that could build locomotives of this size, the Lugansk Steam Locomotive Plant (Voroshilovgrad) had to be expanded first, breaking ground on new facilities in 1927. During the construction of the plant, specifications were modified, the axle load had to be brought down to 20 tons, as most of the Soviet network couldn't handle anything higher than that. A new design was drawn up in 1930, a few prototypes were built, but this design too wasn't adapted to the realities of the time, assuming the advent of automatic couplers, which never saw the light of day, amongst other things. After extensive modifications to the 1930 design, the production-ready prototype was unveiled near the end of 1931 and after it proved particularly efficient, surpassing specifications and expectations alike, production finally started in early 1932, 3.213 were put into service by 1942. The 1-5-1 axle layout, was typical for locomotives in this role across Europe, it increased friction and lower-speed traction, sacrificing top speed performance. With a large 3.100 hp super-heated boiler, a two-cylinder propulsion system and effective axle layout, tractive effort was high at 21.200 kgf (FD-20) to 23.300 kgf (FD-21) (46.738 / 51.368 lbs). Officially, they were rated to pull 2.500 ton trains, but there are some wartime reports that indicate that they were able, when pushed, to pull 3.000 ton trains through the Urals. (some sources talk of 4.000 ton trains, though that seems a bit of a stretch). They were a mainstay of mainline freight before and during the war, sharing this role with older US-built locomotives. (Series E, Baldwin, 0-5-0)

    The proposed plan is to electrify the line up to Viaz'ma to speed things along, and to improve alternate routes at the same time, including 2 branch lines. One through Myatlevo, and another through Obninsk and Juhnov. These should provide a viable alternative for South-West-bound traffic, which currently represents more than a third of the trains going though the Mohaysk-Viaz'ma corridor..."

    The rest of the meeting was spent going over completed infrastructure projects, and green lighting new infrastructure projects.

    The following projects have been completed:

    -Transsiberian railroad, Omsk-Novosibirsk-Irkutsk:
    Infrastructure has been upgraded to 'Level 7' in
    Tartarsk, Blinkovo, Gzhatsk, Novosibirsk, Leninsk Kuzneckij and Kemerovo.

    -Leningrad-Oulu Railroad

    Infrastructure has been upgraded to 'Level 5' in
    Kuusjärvi and to 'Level 4 in Vuolijoki.

    -
    Moskva peripheral railway network:
    Infrastructure has been upgraded to 'Level 9' in
    Istra, Podolsk, Klin and Ozyory, and to 'Level 6' in Myatlevo, Ivanovo and Dulyapino.

    -
    Aksenovo Zilovskoye Air Base side-branch of the Trans-Siberian Railroad:
    Infrastructure has been improved to 'Level 5' in
    Aksenovo Zilovskoye.

    -
    Moskva-Orel-Kursk Railroad:
    Infrastructure has been upgraded to 'Level 7' in
    Mtensk and Novosil.
    After much debate, the roads and/or railways will now be upgraded in the following 20 provinces:

    -Transsiberian railroad, Omsk-Novosibirsk-Irkutsk:
    Infrastructure will be upgraded to 'Level 7' in
    Mariinsk, Bogatol, Uzhur, Acinsk and Krasnojarsk.

    -Muonio river / Swedish border Railroad

    Infrastructure will be upgraded to 'Level 3' in
    Muonio

    -
    Leningrad-Oulu Railroad

    Infrastructure will be upgraded to 'Level 4 in
    Kestilä.

    -
    Moskva area railway network:
    Infrastructure will be upgraded to 'Level 9' (electrification) in
    Mozhaysk, Viaz'ma and Venev, to 'Level 8' in Obninsk, Serpuhov and Ivanovskoye,
    and to 'Level 7' in
    Myatelevo and Juhnov.

    -Amur river Railroad (
    Khabarovsk-Nikolayevsk na Amure):
    Infrastructure will be improved to 'Level 4' in
    Dzhuen.

    -
    Moskva-Orel-Kursk Railroad:
    Infrastructure will be upgraded to 'Level 8' in Mtensk and Novosil.
    With a war on our hands, funding was not increased. The test of supplying the Red Army at war showed a few bottlenecks near Moskva, where electrification and triple-tracking efforts have been increased. Electrification up to Viaz'ma and the improvement of alternative routes should allow for even more trains to run in this particularly busy area.

    A 116 km strech north of
    Orel continues to be improved with the addition of passing tracks, effectively making the line triple-tracked for most of the way. The continued improvement of this 'weakest link' in the Moskva-Orel-Kursk line should help supplies flow towards Crimea and the Eastern part of the Ukrainian SSR.

    Work has started on an additional defensive line along the Amur river in the far east, but with a low priority. Work on the double-tracking of the trans-Siberian railroad has also slowed somewhat.

    In
    Finland the narrow-gauge railway along the Swedish border is slowly being upgraded to Russian standard gauge towards the Norwegian border, keeping in mind the possibility of a future Oulu-Tromsö-Narvik railway line.

    The new upgrades should be complete by mid-October, at which point their impact will be evaluated, and further improvements will be discussed. I rode back to
    Moskva in the cabin of a VL-19 locomotive, which was pulling a mostly empty mixed consist of flatcars and enclosed cars, at over 60 km/h. Vladimir Lenin would have been proud.

    I'll soon return to covering the war at the front,

    'Odin'

    Some more information:
    Electrification of the busier parts of the Soviet Railway network was a bit of a pet project for Vladimir Lenin. It didn't get past the planning stage before his death in 1924. The first 19 km long electrified line (1.200 V DC) was opened in 1926 in Baku, it was used mostly by commuter motorcars. In 1929, the 18 km Moskva-Mytiski suburban railway line was electrified (1.500 V DC).

    In the 1930s electrification efforts were increased, and a standard of 3.000 V DC was put in place. Most of the electrification happened in and around Moscow, and in the Baku area, though there was also an electric line in Georgia. By 1940 1.800 km of track was electrified. This represented ca. 1,8% of the entire Soviet Railway network, and 2% of all rail-freight. The start of the war cut short electrification efforts, and in 1941, the total stood at 1.940 km.

    As a nod to the original instigator of the electrification programme, most electric locomotives built in the Soviet Union would be named after Vladimir Lenin. (Several large steam locomotives were named after Iosif Stalin) Originally, small numbers of US-built, and Italian-built electric locomotives were purchased, though soon they were copied and improved upon by Soviet constructors. The first domestically designed and built electric locomotive type was the VL-19, of which 145 were built starting in 1932. In TTL, I'm assuming production continued into 1942 and thus more were delivered. As mentioned above, the advantages of electric traction are significant, especially on busy or steep stretches of track. Electrification of the Soviet network continued after the war, and was even accelerated. By the fall of the Berlin wall, over 53.000 km were electrified, representing over 36% of the network, and over 63% of rail freight. Electrification has picked up in recent years, with over 85.000 km electrified now (15th of May 2019). Not to mention the construction of the 'high-speed' line between Moscow and St-Petersburg.

    Belgium is still more heavily electrified, with the densest railway network in the world, where 3.064 of 3.607 kms are electrified (2010), though electrification has pretty-much stopped, as the non-electrified lines don't see enough trafic for it to be worthwhile. Diesel trains are the exception over here. Interestingly electrification in Belgium is also 3.000 V DC, like in Russia, and unlike in the Netherlands.

    The Soviet Union was ahead of the curve on electrification (the US had more electrified kms, but they represented a smaller fraction of their network), but somewhat behind the curve on the development of efficient diesel-electric locomotives.
     
    Last edited:
    12th of July 1942, 'Odin': GPW 10-day Report #2
  • roverS3

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    12th of July 1942, Vologda, 8,3°C, 6pm Moscow Time

    Report on the Great Patriotic War between 6pm on the 2nd and 6pm on the 12th of July 1942.

    Before we get to the overview, first a series of letters from 'Odinatsat':

    The 2nd of July, Lwow, 5,6°C, 9pm Moscow Time

    I stayed in the St. Elizabeth Church for most of the past 10 days.

    After the morning attack on the 2nd of July, and his breakfast, Lt. General Popov came down to the St. Elizabeth Church to convene with Lt. Colonel Molchalin and his staff. A short discussion I wasn't privy to took place around the altar / map table, while I ate my breakfast rations outside with several officers of the Guards riflemen, guarding the church's perimeter. It seems news of my stern rebuttal of Sergeant Orlov's romantic advances spread quite rapidly, and no one else tried his luck. Something had changed, the servicemen in and around the church seemed to have a newfound respect for me. As I finished my breakfast, sergeant Orlov ran out of the church, stood at attention next to the officer's table and:

    "Senior Lieutenant Goloniewskij, mam, Lt. Colonel Molchalin needs you in the tower, mam."
    Quickly chugging my cup of coffee, I stood up, grabbed my Mosin-Nagant, and followed the sergeant to the top of the tower. As I got there, only sergeant Orlov was there. I positioned myself by the window, wondering whether Orlov had made up that order so that I would be near him. I soon decided he doesn't have the guts to make up an order from a Lt. Colonel. After about 10 slightly awkward seconds I decided to ask Orlov what I was doing there and why I couldn't just finish my breakfast first, but before I could do so, it all became self-evident. Major Panov entered the room, followed by Major Balabanov (a member of Popov's Staff), and then Lt. General Popov himself, followed by our Lt. Colonel, and various other members of their staffs. Myself and the sergeant snapped to attention to salute our new guests, Major Balabanov immediately ordered us to keep a lookout, and to make sure no one could threaten the safety of any of the officers in the room. I thus found myself looking out of over the city, with the Lt. General looking out of another window, discussing the morning's battle with Lt. Colonel Molchalin. I couldn't hear everything they were saying. From what I gathered, the Lt. General was rather pleased with the way the battle had been handled. That said, he ordered a rethink of the position of each and every one of the heavy weapons and machine-guns.

    Pretty much ignoring my presence, the Lt. General and the Lt. Colonel, with their entourages, spent most of the morning up in the tower, overlooking the North-Western part of the city, sending out Sergeant Orlov time and again, to get them drinks, or to relay orders when there was no timely radio response. By lunchtime, they were done, not a single IS-2 tank, artillery piece, machine-gun, or mortar was in the same place it had been before the attack. Everything had been moved piecemeal, and as quietly as possible, not to arouse suspicion of potential German observers. Satisfied of the new unit dispositions, Lt. General Popov invited Lt. Colonel Molchalin to lunch in one of the city's better restaurants. As they left the room, I heard the Lt. General ask the Lt. Colonel what he thought of his new marksman. I couldn't quite make out his reply.

    After lunch, I shared the tower with sergeant Orlov and the radio operator, Starshina Golubev. I had a good nap to recover some of the sleep I'd missed the previous night. Major Panov and Lt. Colonel Molchalin made a few short appearances, but they rarely stayed much longer than ten minutes, and they didn't catch me napping.

    In the evening, Germans from the very same Division that had hit us at dawn, made a second attempt on the city, now they charged in greater numbers. Their tactics were similar to this morning, except that they were clearly circumventing the areas that had been in the line of fire of our heavier guns during the previous attempt. This, of course placed them right in the line of fire of the very guns they were trying to avoid. It took over half an hour for the Germans to catch on to the fact that their intelligence, gathered that very morning, was worthless. By the time they left the city once more, with their tails between their legs, it was a slaughter, over 130 German soldiers laid dead in the streets, 3 Armoured cars had been reduced to smouldering shells, and I had personally shot a German Obergefreiter (Lance Corporal) clean through the head when he took too much of an interest in the churh's main tower. Only three Guards Riflemen lost their lives during the short skirmish.

    Again I kept myself under control and only fired when absolutely necessary. With the battlefield far below me and well under control, I'm managing to keep my demons at bay. I've found that watching German blood being spilled by my comrades in arms a good substitute for spilling it myself, it satiates that part of my brain that needs me to kill, to avenge. Enough to keep me focused and in the mission at least.
    The 6th of July, Lwow, 7,5°C, 5am Moscow Time

    In the two days since the two first battles of Lwow, tensions were rising. There was the news that Hungary had declared war on the Soviet Union on the 3rd of July, and on the 4th, 49 SD and 75 SD retreated into the city, battered and disorganised, leaving Zolkiew and Jaworow in German hands. We suddenly had three potential axis of attack to deal with, and the retreating troops gave us a direct insight into the horrors of the tough fights to come. The question wasn't if the Germans would make another move, but when, and how serious it would be. There was plenty of activity around the city, as preparations were made for potential attacks from the West (Jaworow) an the North-Northwest (Zokiew).

    Finally, in the middle of the night, at 1 am on the 5th of July, to be precise, another German attack started. This time a Panzer-Division was was brought to bear, it all started with a line of panzers, moving up Horodotska street, shooting their guns left and right, backed up by FlaK-88s, and accompanied by massed German Infantry, Armoured Cars, and combat engineers. While it looked mighty impressive, it proved to be a non-starter. As soon as they started moving along the main road, a couple of concealed 100mm Anti-Tank guns opened fire on the Panzer V's, blowing up the first panther in line and scattering the Infantry, some of which was promptly hit by Soviet machine-guns and mortar. The German tanks turned tail, and the Infantry jumped on top of the retreating tanks and armoured cars. I guess the Germans in charge must have realised the idiocy of venturing into a fortified city in the middle of the night, as soon as those first shells hit. Lorry-mounted FlaK-88's covered the retreating Panzers, and one of our 100mm Guns was blown up, along with 5 of the men around it. Then, a mere 15 minutes after my sleep had been interrupted, the guns fell quiet again. The Germans had lost a single tank, and about 20 men. No one had gotten close to the church, or the tower, and the Lt. Colonel had only just made it to the top. After the Lt. Colonel grumbled something about the Germans waking him up just to spite him, he went back down to sleep. I did the same, both hoping for, and fearing, a more serious German attack.

    I got my wish when I was awakened by sergeant Orlov at 1am the next night. A German Infantry squad had been spotted some 2,5 km from our location. Was this just a scouting operation of a large scale attack? This time there were no rumbling engines and vehicle headlights, there were no flares, no tanks, no mobile FlaK-88s. Only a sliver of the moon was visible, many of the street lights weren't working. From the top of the tower, all I could do was stare into the dark city unable to see more than a vague outline of the buildings. Suddenly, there was a bang, followed by a short exchange of gunfire, accompanied by muzzle flashes about 1,5km away to the North-West of the church, followed by a couple of frantic radio messages back and forth, and then the silence returned.

    German Infantry, using the cover of darkness, advanced into the city, until their way was impeded or they were spotted, at which point they started lobbing grenades and shooting, taking advantage of the confusion to do some damage. Once local reinforcements started to arrive, they retreated into the darkness of the night, before heavy machine-guns or mortars could be brought to bear against them. Shortly after the first Soviet Casualties were reported, as soon as he heard the radio description of the second small-scale German shock attack, Lt. Colonel Molchalin recognised the German tactics. He mumbled something about Finns doing something similar, but on skis, and worse. Lt. General Popov had clearly gotten the same impression, and instead of letting the German squads choose where to engage, he gave orders for Guards riflemen to go out into the streets in force to counter-attack the German Infantry and attempt to beat them at their own game. The searchlights of the recently-built fortifications were also brought to bear. At first, all this did was to push the German squads, some of which had ventured over a km into the city, into hiding. The game of cat and mouse continued for several hours, until first light, when we could we start to see silhouettes moving below.

    The riflemen on the ground also had an expanded visual range, and the more they saw, the worse for the Germans. Outnumbered and having mostly lost the cover of darkness, the Germans had to run for their lives, being chased through the streets by large numbers of guards-riflemen. Taking full advantage of their knowledge of the city, our soldiers managed to avoid getting pinned down by German Light machine-guns. Luring the German's attention and gunfire one way, with a squad going round and chucking grenades at them from behind, was a particularly favoured tactic. Many of the most ambitious German squads didn't make it out of the city, and by 4:15am, 90 Germans had been killed or taken prisoner. In the end, only 14 Guards Riflemen had died, and the assault turned out to have been the work of a single Infanterie-Division. In the night, the numbers had been muddled, and what had seemed like an invasion by stealth was really a company-sized attack, ultimately of little consequence.

    As much as I was frustrated that I didn't get a single shot in, that I had been powerless in the darkness, unable to help the riflemen on the ground, I was glad that casualties were light, and that our lines remained strong and ready to fight another day. The German tactics, may not have given them a military victory, but they surely left many servicemen in Lwow second-guessing shadows, and some with nightmares of Teutonic hordes coming to kill them in their sleep.
    The 7th of July, Lwow, 6,4°C, 9am Moscow Time

    I finally got something close to a good night's sleep, as the Wehrmacht did decide not to attack on the night of the 6th-7th of July. The 1am battle on the 8th of July started just like the battle before last, with then the appearance of Panzer V tanks starting down Horodotska street. This time, the first tanks didn't mess around, they rolled into the city at full speed. The first 4 tanks were closely followed by a pair of lorry-mounted FlaK-88s with the rest of the column about 20m behind the first group. As soon as they started to come under fire, the tanks started covering each-other and the 88s, by moving 2 at a time and using suppressing fire from the two stationary tanks to cover the advancing ones. This leapfrogging tactic allowed them to mostly bypass our most forward Anti-tank emplacements. It seems this was a serious effort, and not some halfhearted probe. Our searchlights tracked the vehicles in their advance.

    In response, an order came down from Lt. General Popov's office. The IS-2 tanks and SU-100 tank-Destroyers that had been bypassed by the rapidly advancing German armour were to rush towards the South-East and prepare favourable firing positions, taking into account the direction of travel and speed of the Panzers. The flexible movement of our own anti-tank equipment allowed our forces to envelop the advancing panzers, containing them to the Horodotska street, and outflanking them in the process. This was all coordinated by Lt. Colonel Molchalin, and our vantage point allowed us to have an overview our enemy did not have, even at night. Once the first group of vehicles arrived about 100m from the first line of fortifications, they halted, requiring additional support from infantry and combat engineers to blow their way through the concrete and steel tank-traps, and to fill in the massive ditches, or so it seemed. The Panther tanks, were firing their machine guns to make sure our riflemen kept their head down. As the Panzers trained their guns, ostensibly to blow up a small bunker, I noticed a tank commander inspecting the church towers with his binoculars, and, of course, just as he looked almost straight at me, I sent a bullet through his head. A few seconds later, the church's main tower was bathing in the light of a massive German searchlight. Luckily the Panzer V's 75mm guns didn't have the elevation to hit the tower, and their were many buildings between them and the base of the church. However, the 88mm FlaK's, designed to shoot down aeroplanes, could. All this was going through my head in a matter of seconds, and almost simultaneously, I noticed the two crews readying their AA-guns and turning their barrels towards me, confirming my assessment. The threat was imminent, Infantry-men were taking pot-shots at me, but I ignored them. Instead I started picking off the FlaK-88 crews. First the loaders, then the commanders. After a few seconds of me seemingly fighting much of the German spearhead on my own, our units on the ground were in position, and guided by Lt. Colonel Molchanlin and his staff, they unleashed hell.

    The now relocated SU-100s, as well as entrenched 100mm and 57mm anti-tank guns, opened fire on the tanks at the front of the column. After the first salvo of Armour-piercing shells, IS-2's, and SU-100s, backed by platoons of Guards RIflemen (who could easily keep up with the IS-2's on foot), moved slowly towards the flanks of the German column of Tanks, Armoured Cars, Lorries, and other vehicles. Other snipers now joined in the fun, picking off anyone who got near the FlaK-88s, which were as much of a danger to our IS-2's as they were to the tower I was in. As soon as it was clear the 88s were covered by other snipers, I shot the searchlight that was aimed at the tower, and watched from the relative safety of darkness, as the rest of the battle unfolded.

    Now with Soviet armour closing in from all sides, outnumbered, and with little room to manoeuvre, there was only one way out for the Germans, back to where they came from. Under the intense light of soviet searchlights, the entire column started reversing on itself, leaving behind 5 destroyed Panther tanks, 6 lorries littered with bullet-holes, 2 smouldering armoured car wrecks, 2 FlaK-88s aimed straight at me, and over 80 dead German soldiers.

    Benz-21_Typ-VP-21_Sd.Kfz.3-min.jpg

    A destroyed Benz-21 Armoured Lorry in the streets of Lwow. This vehicle is part of a German programme to produce armoured vehicles based on existing lorry designs, on the same production lines. The vehicles this programme brought forth were collectively designated as Sd.Kfz.3. Many of these were also fitted with half-tracks, but not this one.
    This battle had taken barely an hour, and once again the Germans had proven unable to make any amount of headway. There were many questions after the events of that night. The obvious one was whether the Germans planned the attack specifically to blow up one of the Churches' towers. Did they know we were there, or did the officers of the Tank Division realise that it was the ideal vantage point, and guess we would be taking full advantage of that fact. From the way the attack was executed it did seem likely that the Germans were going for the towers. A quick dash, almost straight towards the church, with lorry-mounted AA-guns, capable of blowing the towers to smithereens from rather far away, in tow? Halting far enough from the first continuous line of trenches they encountered, so that they could protect the 88's from grenades and enterprising Guards riflemen. (at least those coming from the trench-line) It all seems about right, but, according to our own intelligence, the lorry-mounted 88's were the fastest moving high velocity guns the German 11. Panzer-Division has in it's inventory, and thus an attempt at a rapid breakthrough would logically be spearheaded by tanks accompanied by these 88's to provide direct fire support.

    Either way, the Germans clearly know that there is someone at the top of the St-Elizabeth Church's central tower. I had failed in my mission, yes the command staff was still alive, but despite my best efforts, the tower had become a prime target. The command post has to be moved before the next German attack, there is no point in risking the loss of this vital command post, least of all in the middle of a battle. The move took priority over everything else, and debriefing will have to wait until morning. With no immediate orders, I decided to sleep downstairs, just in case the Germans tried something.

    In the morning, the church was quiet, the same guards riflemen were guarding the base, but inside, and at the top, there was no one left. When I say no-one, I mean no-one except for Sergeant Orlov, who continued to be inexorably bound to me by both his orders and his own choice. I ate my breakfast outside, with the Guards Rifle Company's command staff. I was only halfway through when a ZiS-101 staff car pulled up. Major Balabanov jumped out and walked straight to our table. He had an even sterner demeanour than usual:

    "Senior Lieutenant Goloniewskij, you are to come with me."

    "Major sir, am I allowed to finish my breakfast first sir?"

    "You will follow me right now senior Lieutenant. That is a direct order from Lt. General Popov. Eating inside the Lt. General's staff car is strictly prohibited."µ
    The Lt. General's driver, a Starshina, opened the rear door. Major Balabanov indicated for me to enter, and went around to the other side, operating his own door. This was a bit unusual, as protocol dictates that the door should be held open for the person with the highest rank. In this case military protocol directly contradicted gallantry, and the Major went with the latter. I'm not sure what to think of that. The trip to city hall was short and quick, we passed two checkpoints, both of them waved us through. As we arrived, at city hall, the driver got out and opened my door, while a Junior Lieutenant opened the Major's door. We quickly made our way upstairs, bypassing the office of Major Balabanov, and heading straight for the large office Lt. General Popov had made his own. We stopped in front of the massive oak door, and Major Balabanov knocked. The Lt. General said:

    "Come in"
    The office was even larger than I expected, as it was composed of two spaces. The first room had a small desk for a secretary to the side, and a massive wooden table with 12 chairs around it, I guess they used to hold cabinet meetings in there once upon a time. Large open double doors gave a good view of the second, slightly smaller, room, which is the office itself, dominated by a large mahogany desk. The walls of both rooms are covered in book cases and fine oak panelling. Lt. General Popov was sitting at the head of the table, he was flanked by a full Colonel to his right, and Lt. Colonel Molchalin to his left. The table was set for four, but the three officers had clearly already finished their breakfast. The Lt. General's personal secretary, a Lieutenant, was still eating at the small desk near the door, and there was still plenty of food on the table.

    "Senior Lieutenant Goloniewskij. You will join myself and Lt. Colonel Molchalin for breakfast. Dismissed Major."
    Understanding that he was about to become the fourth wheel in a tricycle, the Colonel sitting to the right of Popov got up and excused himself. The private who's main function seemed to be to open the door, rushed in to take away the departing Colonel's dirty dishes and replace them with clean ones as Lt. General Popov motioned at the now vacant chair to his right. Again, without a word, the Private left the room and closed the door behind him. I was beginning to be rather impressed at how all these people where seemingly doing exactly what the Lt. General wanted them to do without him having to say a single word. As I grabbed some pastries and started eating, the Lt. General started talking:

    "I'm quite pleased with your work Molchalin, you've implemented my orders to perfection, maintaining an exemplary level of coordination between the various units protecting the North-Western part of the city. I put my faith in you to protect that sector, and you have exceeded my expectation Lt. Colonel."

    "To be fair, the Germans didn't really put in much effort." (The Lt. Colonel interceded)

    "That may be so, but it doesn't take away that 5 attacks on your sector were shrug off with minimal losses. You used the tools at your disposal to great effect, destroying tanks, and killing enemy personnel. The smouldering shells of what used to be the spearhead of a German armoured column on Horodotska street speak for themselves
    . That said, it seems to me that none of this would have been possible without the efforts of Senior Lieutenant Goleniewskij."
    Turning to me. "You used your skills sparingly and effectively, delaying the inevitable discovery of Molchalin's vantage point by German HQ. Once your position was clearly discovered, you did not run for cover. At your own peril, you fired at enemy gun-crews, allowing the Lt. Colonel's staff to leave the tower. You did this so well, that the tower is still standing and the gun crews lie dead in the street. The first responsibility you had was to keep the Lt. Colonel and his staff alive, and you succeeded. Congratulations Captain Goleniewskij, I'm sure Colonel Molchalin is glad to be alive."

    "Thank you Lt. General, and Captain, I didn't get the chance to thank you for saving my life."

    "Your promotions will be formalised as soon as possible. In the meantime, I've personally revised your orders. Colonel, starting next week, at the latest, you will relocate to the Military Invalids building, from where you will coordinate the defence of the North-Northwestern sector, together with the staff of both Lt. Colonel Rozhdestvensky of 76 GvsD and Lt. Colonel Ibragimov of 72 GvSD. They've done good work, but I think your recent first-hand experience should allow you to further refine their defensive plans and coordinate their forces. Your role there is that of a supervisor, you'll be my representative in the sector, and I expect you to act accordingly, as you have up to now. You have until then to make sure Major Panov is able to take over your duties in the North-Western sector, temporarily, until he proves himself. Captain Goleniewsky will not be joining you, as both Lt. Colonels already have enough personal protection. Dismissed Colonel."

    "Yes sir. Thank you sir. I'll get started right away. Captain, it was an honour to work with you, I wish you the very best in your next assignment."
    Molchalin stood up and started moving to the door. I reacted quickly, stood at attention, saluted, and replied:

    "The pleasure was all mine, sir."
    He saluted and left the room. Now, it was just me, the Lt. General, and his secretary in the corner. I waited for Popov to start talking, but noting the hungry way I looked at it, he gestured for me to take some food. I ate in silence for about fifteen minutes, while Popov was reading a file, occasionally looking up at me, as if to make sure I was still there. Compared to the rations of the previous days, the food was great, and I didn't hesitate to get my fill of pastries, eggs, strawberries and tea. As I started to slow down, Lt. General Popov put down his file, and looked me over. He said:

    "Captain Goleniewskij. I'll speak frankly. This rather thin volume here is your official file. What is most remarkable about it, is what's not in it. A lot of it is redacted, and, as far as my secretary Lt. Drozdov could find out, there is no record of you taking part any kind of military training. Except for your recent role as an instructor in the Central Women's Sniper Training School, that is.

    Now, I certainly don't wish to embarras you with that statement. You clearly have the support of the 5th directorate, and you have most likely worked for them, if you're not still doing so. From your demeanour, and especially the way you handle yourself under pressure, it seems a foregone conclusion that you've served the People of the Soviet Union in ways most of those people will never know. I will probably never know either why you ended up in the regular army, but I've got the distinct feeling that you've suffered for your motherland, more than most. Something must have happened that changed you, made you get out, or made them kick you out. You're good at hiding your pain, and it doesn't seem to have affected your performance, not yet anyway. You must have been one hell of an operative. I suspect that Lt. Colonel Molchalin has been rather distant towards you because you remind him of comrades of his who were forever scarred by the Winter War. A close friend of him ended up taking his own life to escape his demons.

    I tend to be rather upbeat and positive in front of my colleagues, but what I'm about to ask of you warrants a more serious tone. As you already know, the Wehrmacht now believes that we have something quite important in the main tower of the St. Elizabeth Church. And we did, until this morning, when we moved out all of the staff and equipment. The question is what will happen when the Germans attack the same sector again, and what I want to happen when they do so. I expect they will go for the church again, and as the critical staff and equipment has been moved, I want to encourage them to focus on the church as much as possible. Any German who's shooting at the church, or even looking at it, isn't focusing on the movements on the ground, nor on finding other vital staff emplacements. I want the Germans to think that, instead of moving out, we've strengthened the Church's defences. This is where you come in, captain, if you agree to take on this hazardous mission.

    You will remain in the main tower of the church, despite the obvious risks to your own well-being. I'll give you 10 trained snipers, and a regular guards rifle squad, and full operational freedom within the confines of the church. Your job is to pull German attention to the church, and especially it's main tower. Make them think everything I want them to think, and shoot as many krauts as you need to. This will leave you exposed and it will likely be your demise, but it will almost definitely be of great benefit to the defence of the city, and reduce casualties on the ground. Considering your background in, no-doubt hairy, secret operations, and your exceptional marksmanship, I believe you are the only person under my command who could pull this off successfully. You have seemingly no history, no family, and you clearly want to kill out there, so I'm asking you, will you risk everything for your motherland?"
    I was at a loss for words, on the one hand, the Lt. General managed to read me quite well, and he had been understanding, and kind. At the same time, I was really wondering whether all that wasn't just to butter me up so I would go and run this near-suicidal mission. Despite the risks, or maybe because of them, I was tempted to say yes. It would give me a great opportunity to kill a lot of German soldiers, and no more holding back. But, I wasn't just going to say yes immediately. I thus stayed silent, pensive, until the Lt. General decided, all on his own, to sweeten the deal:

    "I can make this easier for you. What do you want? Better food? done. A radio operator and a direct line to my HQ? done. Do you want a staff car? done. If you do this successfully, and come out alive. I will personally back you in your military career, wherever you want to go, whatever you want to do, I'll pull strings for you."

    "And if I refuse."

    "I won't court martial you, but I will transfer you to another Guards Rifle unit with a glowing letter of recommendation, and that will be that where you're concerned. I'm sure you could always use your connections to get some other kind of assignment."
    At this point, I had decided I would do it. The chance to kill so many, and the fact that no one would be looking over my shoulder. It was worth it. But, I did want something else:

    "All right. I'll do it, I'll be your hun-bait, but I need you to pull some strings. I don't have many true friends in this world - occupational hazard - but my best friend is on duty in Kyiv, repairing aeroplanes. If I'm going to die in that church, I want to spend more time with senior sergeant Sergei Kharkov, Yak-7 aeroplane mechanic. Do what you have to make it so he's reassigned to Lwow Air Base, and that he can come visit me at the church whenever he's not working."
    Lt. General Popov simply looked at Lt. Drozdov, who was thumbing through a file with a VVS stamp on it, he was quick to reply:

    "Sir. One phone-call and senior sergeant Kharkov will be on the next plane to Lwow. Sir. You might have to call in a favour to get it done sir."

    "Thank you Lieutenant, make the call. Captain, you heard the Lieutenant, it's all sorted. You may go to Lwow Air Base to welcome him. Be at St. Elizabeth church at 1500 hours, your team will be there. You'll need to rush your preparations, I don't know how long the Germans will wait before they attack that sector again. In case this is the last time I see you, thank you for your service. Dismissed captain"
    I don't plan on dying in that church, but it remains a real possibility, and due to the nature of my assignment I haven't been able to spend any time with Sergei. Now that I'm writing this, thinking of Sergei, I have to survive the coming onslaught, for his sake and for mine. I'm off to the Air Base to welcome him to Lwow. I'll write to you again when I feel like it. Battle or no battle, I'll be quite busy the coming days, so don't worry if you don't get daily updates.

    All the best,

    'Odinatsat'

    Arctic Front (XXXIV GSK / 1st AG / Leningrad HQ):
    1AG42-07-12-min.jpeg

    Progress continues to be slow in the Arctic. The only enemy in sight is the occasional snowstorm and the terrible infrastructure.​

    Baltic Sea (XXXIII SK / VDV / RBBF / Leningrad HQ):
    zerstorer1936c-min.jpg

    The 1936C class of Destroyers, a brand new evolution of the 1936 design, has a standard displacement of 2.411 tonnes, and a maximum displacement of over 3.400 tonnes. The main difference with previous classes is the use of multi-purpose main guns.The 1936C sports a main armament of 6, 12,8 cm FlaK 40's in three twin turrets. As the name of the gun suggests, this main armament could be effectively used against aeroplanes, a significant improvement over the 1936A and 1936B classes. Those previous sub-classes sported a pair of 15cm Naval guns in a twin turret in the front, and three single 12,7mm naval guns in individual turrets in the rear. 6 water tube boilers and 2 gear turbines provide 70.000 hp, propelling the ships to a top speed of 38,5 knots. (much faster than what they can do in game). The armament is completed by 4 3,7cm FlaK guns, 4 2,0cm FlaK guns, and 8 torpedo tubes. The ships also have the capacity to lay mines.
    (OTL none of these saw action, but TTL they've already been sent to the bottom of the ocean)
    A pair of German Destroyers was first spotted by one of our submarines. The RBBF, having just delivered a Rifle Division to Bornholm, went out to attempt to intercept the Kriegsmarine units before they could do damage to our submarines. The Zerstörergeschwäder, clearly unaware that they had been spotted, and possibly concentrating on tracking our submarines, was caught by surprise by the RBBF, just as the submarines in question had left the area.

    The resulting battle of the Southern Baltic was short and very one-sided. Vice Admiral Kuznetsov, expertly positioning his ships, brought all of his fleet's firepower to bear against the 4 modern German Destroyers. All of the RBBF's big guns were firing at the German ships, while Carrier-based Il-10VM torpedo-bombers, and our own Destroyers, dropped torpedo after torpedo. All the while, La-7VMs strafed the German decks. The Destroyers dodged and weaved to try and avoid all of it, taking a few potshots at our Heavy Cruiser Krasnyi Kavkaz, one of which actually hit. They attempted to run and take advantage of their superior top speed, but to no avail. Despite the mediocre accuracy of Soviet Naval Gunnery, the sheer volume of shells and torpedo's headed for Wolf's flotilla was overwhelming, and before it even got close to getting out of range, the last Z-46 Destroyer was sent to the bottom by a volley of 12 inch shells from the Pride of the Red Navy, Battleship Oktyabrskaya Revoluciya.

    ParatroopersSlagelse-min.jpg

    The VDV lands in Slagelse, en masse, not an enemy aeroplane in sight, thought a German Infanterie-Division is present on the ground.
    Now they have to secure the area, easier said than done.
    After all of XXXIII SK was transferred to Bornholm, things had to move quickly. Supplies on Bornholm were slowly decreasing, as more supplies were being consumed than could be brought in through the island's port. The clock was ticking, and thus, operation Aegir was given the go-ahead. Three Divisions of Paratroopers were temporarily relocated to Bornholm and as they started preparing for the planned landing, 24 hours later, the Red Banner Baltic Fleet sailed to the Pommeranian Coast. As the RBBF reached the Pommeranian coast, they were greeted once more by the Seeaufklärungsgruppe. The CAGs were ready, and dispatched the Ju-290s, ssome still damaged from their last air battle, with relative ease. Once again, the element of surprise was essential for the success of the operation. With the target province so close to the German heartland, it was expected that large numbers of Luftwaffe fighters may be brought to bear against the Air Transport wing.

    In an attempt to avoid a worse rerun of the Air Battle over Bornholm, which could see our transport aeroplanes shot out of the sky, this time with the paratroopers still on board, a diversion was planned. Knowing full well that no VVS support would be forthcoming, the La-7VM's of 2 KPA and 7 KPA took off from their respective Moskva-class carriers less than 2 hours before the Airborne assault was due to start. They were essentially Luftwaffe-bait, ostensibly trying to assert air superiority over the Öresund. This worked even better than expected, with close to 1.000 Bf-109s intercepting our Carrier-based fighters. A desperate battle started, though in the end casualties would be remarkably light on our side, as the German fighters kept getting in each-other's way, with many friendly fire incidents on the German side.

    The heroic efforts of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet's CAGs made sure the skies over Slagelse (1) were clear when 27.000 Soviet Paratroopers were dropped on the province. A single German Infantry Division was present in the province, which had been expected to be empty. There was no way back, the VDV has to deal with the German Infantry before it will be able to turn it's attention to Copenhagen, despite the VDV's three to one numerical superiority, it promises to be a very tough fight. In case the battle of Slagelse turns awry, a naval contingency plan was put into action, and the RBBF sailed back to Bornholm to pick up a Rifle Division. The Division in question will be landed into Guldborgsund, to the South of Copenhagen, then another trip will be made, before a combined attack on Copenhagen will start, one Division attacking from Guldborgsund, and another performing an amphibious assault from the Pommeranian Coast. This entire operation turned out to be even riskier than anticipated. It is definitely a high risk high reward sort of thing. This is the first real test of the VDV. Will they be able to prevail in the adverse conditions for which they've been trained?

    Baltic42-07-12-min.jpeg

    A lot of action in the Baltic. Paratroopers fighting in Slagelse, a Naval Battle in the Southern Baltic, and several aerial battles.

    1. Southern Baltic (Naval Battle - Victory)
    02 Jul 42 22:00 - 03 Jul 42 01:00
    VMF: Red Banner Baltic Fleet - 2 BB, 2 CVL, CA, CL, 6 DD - 10.528 sailors - Leningrad - V.Adm. Kuznetsov L4, ST
    7 KPA - CAG - 31 La-7VM, 31 Il-10VM - 93 airmen - Moskva (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Kapitochin, L2
    2 KPA - CAG - 30 La-7VM, 30 Il-10VM - 90 airmen - Leningrad (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
    12 naval units / 36 ships / 10.528 sailors / 5 Flotiliya Esmintsev (CVL) -4% / 28 sailors KIA
    1 Mission / 121 planes / 183 airmen / 3 downed / 5 KIA
    Kriegsmarine: 7. ZG - DD - 4 x Z-46-Class (1936C) - 1.280 sailors - ? - Kommodore Wolf, L2-3, SW
    1 naval unit / 4 ships / 1.280 sailors /
    7. Zerstörergeschwader (DD) sunk by Oktyabrskaya Revoluciya (BB) / 4 ships / 1.280 sailors KIA
    Convoy raiding in the Baltic (last 10 days): 35 convoys & 0 escorts sunk
    Northern Main Front (2 AG / Moskva HQ):
    Pz3OnTheMove-min.jpg

    A Panzer III ausf. L of 1. PzD, on it's way to Brzesc Litewski. These tanks were part of the 5th battle for the city, the one that broke the Red Army's Defence.
    The evening of the 2nd of July was quite action-packed. A n 8pm German probe into Brzesc-Litewski (1) was quickly turned back. At 9pm, both the battles of Vainode (2), Siauliai (3) came to an end, as the Soviet Rifle Divisions involved could simply take no more, they all retreated to the East, hoping to trade land for time, time to reinforce and recuperate. Casualties were even and relatively light.

    A 1am German attack into Hajnowka (5) is rather worrying, with the defenders already mostly spent from previous combat. At 2am, on the 3rd of July, after 16 hours of fighting VIII SK HQ retreated from the battle of Raseinai (4), the disparity in casualty numbers indicated the battle was turning sour for Kashuba's HQ. A serious attack on Brzesc Litewski (10) started at 10am. The Soviet superiority in numbers was worthless as 2 out of the 5 units present were too exhausted to fight. That said, the Germans were attacking across the river, our fortifications remained in good shape, and brand new KV-122s were contributing to the defence. At 4pm, Hajnowka (5) was lost to the Panther tanks of 9 PzD. The noose around Brzesc Litewski is closing.

    The 4th of July started off, at 4am with a German attack on Dobele (6), which was held by a still somewhat fresh Rifle Division. To cut losses and maintain some semblance of organisation, Potapov called the retreat in Dobele (6) at 3pm.

    A pair of attacks on Narew (9) and Wolkowysk (7) started at 1am the following day. After daybreak, 5 hours into the battle, the exhausted defenders of Wolkowysk (7) broke and retreated. The 5th of July also brought the end of the battle of Ariogala (8), as Katkov's HQ Division broke after 3 days of fighting, casualties were close to 1k, more than two times Wehrmacht losses. As opposed to the battle of Wolkowysk (7), 40km to the North-East, the Battle of Narew (9) ended in a decisive victory at 6pm, converting a 4 to 1 advantage in numbers into a 6 to1 advantage in casualties. The day ended with a German attack on Panevezys (11), just north of Kaunas. it is held by a single exhausted Division, and needs to remain in Soviet hands until 2 retreating Divisions get there, lest they be overrun.

    At midnight, the German offensive into Brzesc Litewski (10) was finally halted. The Germans suffered dearly with over 1.600 casualties, for less than 500 dead Soviets. The next battle to be started was another German Division-size attack on Narew (13) at 11am on the 6th of July, the province was still just as strongly held as before. After nearly a day of fighting, the defenders of Panevezys (11) retreated at 5pm, even more exhausted than when the battle started. The big blow came at 7pm, when the battle of Jurbarkas (12) ended in defeat, after nearly 4 days of fighting. Casualties were heavy on both sides, with over 3.600 Soviet casualties, and over 2.600 German ones. 9 pm saw the start of a German offensive on Mariampolé (14).

    The night was quiet in the north, and it wasn't until 11am on the 7th of July, that there was some news. Narew (13) was held successfully, and the Wehrmacht halted it's advance into the province, casualties were substantial, but only for the enemy, with a ratio of over 5-1 in our favour. Another two-Division attempt was made on Narew (15), starting at noon, STAVKA was hopeful, but the units in place were getting awfully disorganised. It was the same story one hour later, when the Heer launched a three-pronged attack into Brzesc Litewski (21).

    On the 8th of July, at noon, a German attack on Swislocz (19) started, while the odds weren't too bad, but the province was the last Soviet-held corridor to Brzesc Litewski.

    4am the next day (9th of July), a Division-size German attack was launched on Saldus (25), the odds were slightly in our favour. 3 hours later, the same happened in Tukums (20), but there defenders were significantly less well organised, and also not dug in. Then, at 10am, after 2 days and 3 nights, the battle of Mariampolé (14) ended, in a devastating defeat, the battle, having started small, had grown desperate as German reinforcements were funnelled. The final toll was close to 2.500 riflemen, and about half as many Germans dead. The battle of Narew (15) was lost at 2pm, casualties were slightly over 1.000 on both sides, slightly in our favour. A 10pm German probe into Kaunas was easily repulsed by the Rifle Corps entrenched in the city and it's fortifications. There was some terrible news as it became clear that both VIII SK HQ, and 3 SD have been overrun by the German advance, after their heroic stands in Raseinai (2) and Siauliai (3), they didn't manage to retreat fast enough to stay ahead of the German Infantry. Both units were fleeing towards Panevezys, but before they could get there, a fresh German Infantry Division took control of the province, taking prisoner the exhausted Soviet servicemen, with no place to go. By sheer luck, and thanks to Lt. General Kashuba's GAZ-61 all-wheel- staff car, himself and Maj. General Bakunin managed to evade capture. The other ca. 17.690 personnel were taken prisoner by Maj. General von Kempski's 36 Infanterie-Division. A new VIII HQ has been set up, with Lt General Kashuba at it's head, and 218 SD was attached to V SK, to take the place of 3 SD in the hierarchy. This is the toughest blow yet. 3 SD wasn't a particularly veteran division, having taken part in only 2 battles, but it did include a regiment of Su-100 Tank-Destroyers.

    Things really kicked off at 4am on the 10th of July. Horujenko charged from Kaunas into Panevezys (17), possibly to enact revenge on the captors of his comrades, and at the same time, another attack on Kaunas (16) started. The latter probably won't get very far, but it could impede Horujenko's chances of success. As had been feared, the attack on Panevezys (17) had to be called off by 6am. The Germans were repulsed from Kaunas (16) by 9am, with 7-1 casualties in our favour. The battle of Swislocz (19) was lost with casualties significantly in our favour, but everyone at STAVKA was holding their breath as many units were retreating into the province, both from Brzesc Litewski (21), and from Narew (15). Before German troops could occupy the province, a battered retreating Rifle Division arrived, and tried to hold off the inevitable in a second battle of Swislocz. (22) In other news, the battle of Tukums (20) ended in a loss, with casualty numbers in our favour.

    A 1am German attack on Alytus (28) isn't too worrying, for now. The Red Army has the upper hand in numbers, but the organisation of Soviet forces is low. The meat-grinder of Brzesc Litweski (21) finally came to an end with the retreat of the last Soviet Division from the city at 4am on the 11th of July. The Germans have paid dearly for the city, with nearly 2.300 casualties in this last battle alone, for 1.100 of our own. The second battle for Swislocz (22) ended at 6am, with light casualties. The race is on again, for more Divisions to make it to relative safety before the Germans take the province. Another probe into Panevezys (23) at 5am was just as unsuccessful as the first, and the next one (24) didn't last much longer.

    Another German attack on Kaunas (26) started at 4am on the 12th of July. Later on, retreating Soviet Divisions beat the Germans to Swislocz (27) at 10am. This time, the tired defenders managed to counter the German tactics, buying more time for their colleagues to retreat. At noon, the close-fought battle of Saldus (25) ended in a victory, after more than 3 days of fighting. German losses were slightly higher than ours, and the territory was held. Grodno (29) was attacked at 2pm, a one on one battle with the Germans crossing a river into a marsh. The battle of Kaunas (26) ended at 3pm with another victory, and casualties 7-1 in our favour. The Germans abandoned their attack on Swislocz (27) at 6pm, casualties were in our favour, and this brief reprieve is great news as it will allow most, hopefully all, of our retreating units to make it out of Brzesc Litewski and Narew.

    2AG42-07-12-min.jpeg

    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 Red Army troops involved).
    The Northern part of the front is in some trouble, but help is on it's way. Both 2ya Tankovaya Armiya and 11ya Motorizovannaya Armiya have been given 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. It is hoped that this operation will cut off all the German troops to the north of the initial breakthrough, giving some respite to the thinly spread troops in the area, and potentially allowing the capture of many Axis units.

    1. Brzesc Liteweski 3 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 3 - Victory)
    02 Jul 42 20:00
    SU: 31 SD (Art, TD - Parkhomenko, L2), 85 SD (Art, AT), 173 SD (Art, AT), 41 SD (Art, AT), 14 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng)
    49.391 men /
    2 KIA
    Ger (Biala Podalska - River Crossing): 34 ID (Infx3 - ?)
    8.997 men
    / 108 KIA​

    2. Vainode (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    02 Jul 42 05:00 - 21:00
    SU: 37 SD (Art, TD - Kachalov, L2, DD), 52 SD (Art, AT), 16 SD (Art, AT)
    31.439 men /
    340 KIA
    Ger (Palanga): 60 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, Eng - von Salmuth, L6, FB, BM)
    7.656 men /
    315 KIA
    3. Siauliai (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    02 Jul 42 07:00 - 21:00
    SU: 3 SD (Art, TD - Kariofilli, L2, FB)
    10.069 men /
    154 KIA / 9.914 POW
    Ger (Taurage): 36 ID (Infx3 - von Kempski, L4)
    8.983 men /
    156 KIA
    4. Raseinai (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    02 Jul 42 10:00 - 03 Jul 42 02:00
    SU: VIII SK (HQ, Infx2, AT - Kashuba, L2, LW, WS)
    7.997 men /
    216 KIA / 7.775 POW
    Ger (Taurage - River Crossing): 35 ID (Infx3 - Ruoff, L3, OD)
    8.970 men /
    84 KIA​

    5. Hajnowka (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    03 Jul 42 01:00 - 16:00
    SU: 50 SD (Art, TD - Bochenkov, L2, DD)
    10.172 men /
    227 KIA
    Ger (Lapy): 9 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Schaal, L3, BM)
    7.996 men /
    131 KIA
    6. Dobele (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    04 Jul 42 04:00 - 15:00
    SU: 52 SD (Art, AT - Potapov, L2)
    10.686 men /
    95 KIA
    Ger (Plunge): 4 ID (Infx3 - Haase C., L3, FB)
    8.993 men /
    139 KIA​

    7. Wolkowysk (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    05 Jul 42 01:00 - 06:00
    SU: 52 SD (Art, AT - Hadeev, L2, FB)
    9.774 men /
    25 KIA
    Ger (Bialystok): 2 ID (Infx3 - Heissmeyer, L4)
    8.996 men /
    28 KIA​

    8. Ariogala (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    02 Jul 42 05:00 - 05 Jul 42 09:00
    SU: VIII SK (HQ, Infx2, AT - Katkov, L2-3, LW, BM)
    7.998 men /
    919 KIA
    Ger (Taurage - River Crossing): 58 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Steiner, L4, BM)
    7.951 men /
    418 KIA
    9. Narew (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    05 Jul 42 01:00 - 18:00
    SU: 34 SD (Art, AT - Vasilev, L3, BM), 4 SD (Art, AT), 89 SD (Art, AT)
    31.552 men /
    124 KIA
    Ger (Bialystok): 15 ID (Infx3 - Barckhausen, L3, FB)
    8.997 men /
    723 KIA
    10. Brzesc Liteweski 4 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 3 - Victory)
    03 Jul 42 10:00 - 06 Jul 42 00:00
    SU: 85 SD (Art, AT - Pokrovski, L3), 31 SD (Art, TD), 173 SD (Art, AT), 41 SD (Art, AT), 14 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng)
    50.049 men /
    433 KIA
    Ger (Biala Podalska - River Crossing): 13 PzD (Arm, Mot, ?? - Gräser F.H., L2), 225 ID (Infx2, AT, AA)
    Ger (
    Siedlce - River Crossing): 15 ID (Infx3)
    Ger (
    Maloryta): 231 ID (Infx2, AT, Eng)
    40.630 men /
    1.628 KIA
    11. Panevezys (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    05 Jul 42 22:00 - 06 Jul 42 17:00
    SU: 53 SD (Art, AT - Kariofilli, L3, FB)
    9.946 men /
    188 KIA
    Ger (Siauliai): 36 ID (Infx3 - von Kempski, L4)
    8.948 men /
    218 KIA
    12. Jurbarkas 4 (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    02 Jul 42 01:00 - 06 Jul 42 13:00
    SU: 17 SD (Art, AT - Zaev, L2, BM), 118 SD (Art, AT - Kuznec, L2, LW), 235 SD (Art, AT)
    43.838 men /
    3.622 KIA
    Ger (Tilsit - River Crossing): 10 ID (Infx3 - von Schobert, L4-5), 7 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA)
    Ger (
    Kybartai): 5 PzD (Arm, Mot, SP-Art, TD)
    Ger
    (Taurage): 1 ID (Infx3),79 ID (Infx2, AC, TD)
    8.960 men /
    2.617 KIA​

    13. Narew 2 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    06 Jul 42 12:00 - 13:00
    SU: 34 SD (Art, AT - Vasilev, L3, BM), 4 SD (Art, AT), 89 SD (Art, AT), 217 SD (Art, AT)
    41.895 men /
    155 KIA
    Ger (Bialystok): 12 ID (Infx3 - Böhme, L3, Cdo)
    17.800 men /
    877 KIA​

    14. Mariampolé (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    06 Jul 42 21:00 - 09 Jul 42 10:00
    SU: 120 SD (Art, AT - Dratvin, L2, Trk), 38 SD (Art, AT)
    21.997 men /
    2.466 KIA
    Ger (Jurbarkas - River Crossing): 1 ID (Infx3 - Höpner, L4, BM), 7 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA)
    Ger (
    Kalvarija): 197 ID (Infx2, AT, AA), 170 ID (Infx2, AT, Art)
    Ger (
    Kybartai): 4 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Eng)
    39.754 men /
    1.139 KIA
    15. Narew 3 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    07 Jul 42 12:00 - 09 Jul 42 1:00
    SU: 34 SD (Art, AT - Vasilev, L3, BM), 4 SD (Art, AT), 89 SD (Art, AT), 217 SD (Art, AT)
    52.318 men /
    1.176 KIA
    Ger (Lapy): 143 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - von Schröder, L3), 73 ID (Infx2, AT, AA), 28 ID (Infx3)
    34.969 men /
    1.226 KIA
    16. Kaunas (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
    09 Jul 42 22:00
    SU: III SK (HQ, Infx2, AT - Gastilovich, L3, WS), 191 SD (Art, AT), 8 SD (Art, TD), 142 SD (Art, AT), 43 SD (Art, AT),
    78 SD (Art, AT), 118 SD (Art, AT), 61 SD (Art, TD), 17 SD (Art, AT)
    93.742 men / 5 KIA
    Ger (Ariogala): 58 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Steiner, L4, BM)
    Ger (
    Jurbarkas): 35 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    16.617 men /
    39 KIA
    17. Panevezys 2 (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
    10 Jul 42 01:00 - 06:00
    SU (Kaunas): 61 SD (Art, TD - Horujenko, L2, OD)
    10.997 men /
    12 KIA
    Ger: 36 ID (Infx3 - von Kempski, L4)
    8.990 men /
    14 KIA
    18. Kaunas 2 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
    10 Jul 42 04:00 - 09:00
    SU: VIII SK (HQ - Kashuba, L2, LW, WS), 8 SD (Art, TD), 142 SD (Art, AT), 191 SD (Art, AT), 78 SD (Art, AT),
    43 SD (Art, AT), 61 SD (Art, TD), 17 SD (Art, AT), 118 SD (Art, AT), III SK (HQ)
    94.178 men / 61 KIA
    Ger (Ariogala): 58 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Steiner, L4, BM)
    Ger (
    Jurbarkas): 35 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    16.699 men /
    442 KIA
    19. Swislocz (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    09 Jul 42 12:00 - 10 Jul 42 17:00
    SU: I SK (HQ, Infx2, AT - Vlassov, L4, WS), 71 SD (Art, TD)
    28.193 men /
    358 KIA
    Ger (Kobryn): SSD(m) 'Reich' (WSSx2, TD, Eng - von Randow, L3, LW, BM)
    7.993 men /
    637 KIA​

    20. Tukums (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    09 Jul 42 07:00 - 10 Jul 42 17:00
    SU: 53 SD (Art, TD - Potapov, L2, WS)
    10.995 men /
    301 KIA
    Ger (Vainode): 4 ID (Infx3 - Haase C., L3, FB)
    8.998 men /
    363 KIA
    21. Brzesc Liteweski 5 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 3 - Defeat)
    07 Jul 42 16:00 - 10 Jul 42 04:00
    SU: 85 SD (Art, AT - Pokrovski, L3), 31 SD (Art, TD), 41 SD (Art, AT), 14 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng)
    41.065 men /
    1.138 KIA
    Ger (Siedlce - River Crossing): 9 ID (Infx3 - von dem Bach-Zelewski, L3, LW, OD)
    Ger (
    Biala Podalska - River Crossing): 3 ID (Infx3), 206 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    Ger (
    Maloryta): 1 PzD (L Armx2, Mot, ?)
    43.963 men /
    2.278 KIA​

    22. Swislocz 2 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    10 Jul 42 19:00 - 11 Jul 42 06:00
    SU: 85 SD (Art, AT - Pokrovski, L3)
    10.206 men /
    85 KIA
    Ger (Kobryn): 87 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - Harpe, L4, BM)
    7.998 men /
    95 KIA​

    23. Panevezys 3 (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
    11 Jul 42 05:00 - 06:00
    SU (Kaunas): 6 SD (Art, AT - Tamruchi, L2, OD)
    10.998 men /
    30 KIA
    Ger: 36 ID (Infx3 - von Kempski, L4)
    8.996 men /
    13 KIA​

    24. Panevezys 4 (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
    11 Jul 42 22:00 - 23:00
    SU (Kaunas): 61 SD (Art, AT - Horujenko, L2, OD)
    11.000 men /
    14 KIA
    Ger: 36 ID (Infx3 - von Kempski, L4)
    8.982 men /
    12 KIA
    25. Saldus (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    09 Jul 42 19:00 - 12 Jul 42 12:00
    SU: 37 SD (Art, TD - Kachalov, L2, DD)
    10.999 men /
    731 KIA
    Ger (Vainode): 60 ID(m) (Motx2, AC, AT - von Salmuth, L6, FB, BM)
    7.949 men /
    801 KIA​

    26. Kaunas 3 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
    12 Jul 42 04:00 - 15:00
    SU: V SK (HQ, Infx2, AT - Katkov, L3, LW, BM), 8 SD (Art, TD), 142 SD (Art, AT), 191 SD (Art, AT), 78 SD (Art, AT),
    43 SD (Art, AT), 61 SD (Art, TD), 17 SD (Art, AT), 6 SD (Art, AT), III SK (HQ)
    102.686 men / 161 KIA
    Ger (Ariogala): 58 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Steiner, L4, BM)
    Ger (
    Jurbarkas): 35 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    25.672 men /
    1.173 KIA
    27. Swislocz 3 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    12 Jul 42 10:00 - 18:00
    SU: 34 SD (Art, AT - Vasilev, L3, BM), 4 SD (Art, AT)
    19.793 men /
    77 KIA
    Ger (Hajnowka): 9 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Schaal, L4, BM)
    7.703 men /
    193 KIA​

    Army Group 2 totals:
    SU: 825.903 / 12.196 KIA / 17.689 POW
    Ger: 424.221 / 15.449 KIA​

    Southern German Front (3 AG / Brjansk HQ):
    GebirgsjägerEasternFront-min.jpg

    Having lost over 1.000 men with nothing to show for it, the German Mountaineers of 5. Gebirgsjäger Division retreat from Switaz, for the second time. They don't look pleased with the fact that they're having to fight in open plains, using their mules to transport their equipment. This isn't what they trained for, nor what their equipment was designed for.
    Another probe into Lwow (1) started at 8pm on the 2nd of July. It was thrown back half an hour later. 2nd of July was quite action-packed. At 9pm, a single German Division attacked Luboml, the third attack on the province. The defenders are becoming ever more exhausted and disorganised. The 7th Army took some initiative at 10pm, launching a two-sided attack on a single WSS Division who had only just occupied Jaworow (2). During the course of the night, more German units would move into Jaworow (2) and shore up the defence. Simultaneously, a three-sided German Attack on Sanok (3) was aimed at distracting 2/3 of the force attacking Jaworow (2), The Red Army held strong, but the odds in Sanok (3) were worsening by the hour.

    Both battles were short-lived. Both Jaworow (2) and Sanok (3) were now too well defended for either side to make any headway. The status quo returned at 2am on the 3rd of July. At 8pm, the third battle of Luboml (4) was lost. 5 SD, a fresh Rifle Division is moving into the province, hopefully before the Germans do.

    The 4th of July started with a 1am attack on Wlodimierz Wolynski (5). The province was strongly held, and by 4am the Germans halted their offensive.

    Another spike in military activity took place at 1am on the 5th of July. Two short-lived Axis probes were easily pushed back. A joint German-Hungarian probe into Turka (6) and a German probe into Lwow (7). Krasne (9) was also attacked at the same time. At 9 am, after more than 4 days of fighting, the Germans finally abandoned their third offensive into Switaz (8). Casualties were heavy, over 1,5k dead Soviets, and close to 3k German casualties. A concerted German offensive into Sanok (11) started at 10am, from four different directions, including from the recently lost province of Jaworow. At 11am, 5 SD arrived in Luboml (13) before any German units could occupy the province, spurring the 4th battle over Luboml. To try and take advantage of the Sanok (11)-shaped distraction of German units in the area, the Red Army orchestrated a two-Division spoiling attack on Jaworow (12), starting at 7pm. Krasne (9) was easily held, thanks to the presence of Fortifications, IS-2 Heavy Tanks, and Guards Riflemen, the enemy paid dearly before retreating at 9pm, having suffered over 4 times Soviet casualties.

    The 6th of July, brought another 1am German Division-size attack on Lwow (10), and., and the former at 4am. The battle of Sanok (11) ended at the same time, in a clear Soviet victory. Soviet casualties were below 500, German ones substantially higher. Following that victory, the spoiling attack on Jaworow (12) was halted at 6am.

    While it had looked like a close-run affair to start with, additional German reinforcements turned the fourth battle of Luboml (13) into a desperate defence against the odds, with 5 times Soviet numbers attacking from three sides across the river. The battle ended in defeat at 6 am on the 7th. Soviet casualties were over 1.100, German ones under 300.

    1am probes are back in fashion on the 8th of July, with new German offensives on Lwow (14) and Switaz (15), both were repelled after an hour.

    On the 9th of July, the Wehrmacht followed up on it's capture of Luboml, with an attack on Poryck (17), the province was held by a single Division that wasn't dug in, so the odds weren't looking good.

    Tiger_2_tank_86_Destroyed-min.jpg

    A destroyed Tiger II tank remains in the woods of Sambor, after the German 5th Heavy Tank Division was forced to retreat by a concerted Soviet counter-offensive.
    The 10th was once again marked by two 1am German attacks, on Sanok (8), and on Turka (16). The latter ended 1 hour in, the Teutonic advance being halted at once. The battle of Poryck (17) sadly ended in a loss, but casualties were low, and in our favour. Sanok (18) was won by 1pm. After all the Germans pulled out, only a single Hungarian Division remained in the fight, the casualty ratio was over 17-1 in our favour. Equally good news was the 1pm Soviet push into Sambor (19), which was instantly rewarded with retreating King Tiger tanks, and the return of a little piece of our territory. A third battle of Turka (20) started at 7pm.

    Switaz was, once more, the target of German aggression, starting at 1am on the 11th. At 7am another Wehrmacht attack into Kowel started.A daring Soviet massed attack on Jaworow (21) started at 2pm, and it was the added pressure from this flanking attack that pushed the Germans to abandon their push into Turka (20) an hour later. Then, at 4pm, the attack on Jaworow (21) was called off after a mere 2 hours, with light casualties.

    The 12th of July started off well, with two victories at 3am, both in Kowel (22) and Sanok (23) the German and German-Hungarian attacks were successfully repulsed, with many times more Axis casualties than losses of our own.

    3AG42-07-12-min.jpeg

    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 Red Army troops involved).
    The Southern part of the front has held a lot better, this is thanks to a slightly higher concentration of units, and the fact that most of this part of the front is behind the river, but some cracks are showing.

    1. Lwow 2 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 3 - Victory)
    02 Jul 42 20:00
    SU: XXIX GvSK (HQ, Gdsx2, AT - Popov M.M., L4, DD), 72 GvSD (TD, Eng), 10 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng), 76 GvSD (AT, Eng),
    77 GvSD (AT, Eng)
    62.806 men / 3 KIA
    Ger (Zolkiew): 95 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Böttcher F., L3, BM)
    7.837 men
    / 134 KIA
    2. Jaworow 5 (Attack - Plains - Defeat)
    02 Jul 42 22:00 - 03 Jul 42 02:00
    SU (Sanok): 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk), 139 SD (Art, AT), 2 SD (Art, AT), 159 SD (Art, AT)
    SU (
    Turka): 48 SD (Art, AT), 10 SD (Art, AT)
    65.767 men /
    43 KIA
    Ger: SSD(m) 'Wiking' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA, Eng - von Manteuffel, L4, DD, BM), SS-Verfügungstruppe (WSS)
    17.951 men
    / 179 KIA
    3. Sanok 2 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    02 Jul 42 22:00 - 03 Jul 42 02:00
    SU (Multiple Combat Penalty): 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk), 139 SD (Art, AT), 2 SD (Art, AT), 159 SD (Art, AT), 189 SD (Art, AT)
    54.558 men /
    24 KIA
    Ger(Jaroslaw - River Crossing): 93 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - von Bismarck, L2, BM)
    Ger(
    Gorlice - River Crossing): 6 ID (Infx3)
    Ger(
    Debica - River Crossing): 33 ID (Infx3)
    25.878 men
    / 91 KIA
    4. Luboml 3 (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    02 Jul 42 22:00 - 03 Jul 42 02:00
    SU: 13 SD (Art, AT - Odintsov, L3, FB)
    10.008 men /
    125 KIA
    Ger(Zamosc - River Crossing): 45 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Felber, L3, OD), 5 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA), 62 ID (Infx2, TD, Eng)
    23.252 men
    / 243 KIA
    5. Wlodzimierz Wolynski (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    04 Jul 42 01:00 - 04:00
    SU: 122 SD (Art, AT - Nikishin, L3), 67 SD (Art, TD)
    21.687 men /
    8 KIA
    Ger(Zolkiew - River Crossing): 95 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Böttcher F., L3, BM)
    7.700 men
    / 47 KIA
    6. Turka (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    05 Jul 42 01:00
    SU: 10 SD (Art, TD - Shtevnev, L2, BM), 48 SD (Art, AT), 56 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT)
    54.186 men /
    2 KIA
    Ger(Gorlice - River Crossing): 216 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - ?)
    7.979 men
    / 23 KIA
    Hun(Uzhorod): 25 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT - ?)
    7.980 men /
    23 KIA

    7. Lwow 3 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 3 - Victory)
    05 Jul 42 01:00
    SU: XXIX GvSK (HQ, Gdsx2, AT - Popov M.M., L4, DD), 72 GvSD (TD, Eng), 10 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng), 76 GvSD (AT, Eng),
    77 GvSD (AT, Eng), 49 SD (Art, AT), 75 SD (Art, TD), XI SK (HQ, Infx2, AT), XII SK (HQ, Infx2, AT), 7ya Armiya (HQ)
    90.336 men / 5 KIA
    Ger (Przemysl): 11 PzD (Arm, Mot, Mot-AA, Eng - Heinrici, L5), 8 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    15.863 men /
    22 KIA
    8. Switaz 3 (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    01 Jul 42 22:00 - 05 Jul 42 09:00
    SU: 54 SD (Art, AT - Chernyak, L2-3), 104 SD (Art, AT), 23 SD (Art, AT)
    32.227 men /
    1.531 KIA
    Ger (Maloryta): 10 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, Eng - Müller An., L3, OD)
    Ger (
    Kowel): 5 GbjD (Mtnx3)
    17.992 men /
    2.862 KIA​

    9. Krasne (Defence - Plains - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
    05 Jul 42 01:00
    SU: 10 TTGvD (Vatutin, L4), 42 SD (Art, AT)
    21.927 men /
    184 KIA
    Ger (Zolkiew): 10 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, Eng - Müller An., L3, OD)
    7.653 men /
    759 KIA​

    10. Lwow 4 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 3 - Victory)
    06 Jul 42 01:00 - 04:00
    SU: XXIX GvSK (HQ, Gdsx2, AT - Popov M.M., L4, DD), 72 GvSD (TD, Eng), 10 TTGvD, 76 GvSD (AT, Eng), 77 GvSD (AT, Eng),
    49 SD (Art, AT), 75 SD (Art, TD), XI SK (HQ, Infx2, AT), XII SK (HQ, Infx2, AT)
    89.361 men / 14 KIA
    Ger (Przemysl): 8 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - von Sponeck, L2, OD, BM)
    7.953 men /
    90 KIA
    11. Sanok 3 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    05 Jul 42 10:00 - 06 Jul 42 04:00
    SU: 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk), 139 SD (Art, AT), 2 SD (Art, AT), 159 SD (Art, AT), 189 SD (Art, AT)
    54.661 men /
    452 KIA
    Ger(Jaworow): 2 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Jodl A., L4, OD)
    Ger(
    Jaroslaw - River Crossing): 211 ID (Infx2, ??)
    Ger(
    Gorlice - River Crossing): 6 ID (Infx3)
    Ger(
    Debica - River Crossing): 33 ID (Infx3), 75 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    49.688 men
    / 737 KIA​

    12. Jaworow 6 (Attack - Plains - Defeat)
    05 Jul 42 19:00 - 06 Jul 42 04:00
    SU (Turka): 56 SD (Art, AT - Novikov V. V., L2, BM), 180 SD (Art, AT)
    21.536 men /
    324 KIA
    Ger (Multiple Combat Penalty): 2 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Jodl A., L4, OD), 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC),
    SSD(m) 'Wiking' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA, Eng), SS-Verfügungstruppe (WSS)
    26.509 men / 159 KIA​

    13. Luboml 4 (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    05 Jul 42 11:00 - 07 Jul 42 06:00
    SU: 5 SD (Art, AT - Zhmachenko, L3)
    10.998 men /
    1.150 KIA
    Ger(Zamosc - River Crossing): 5 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA - Phleps, L3, OD), 62 ID (Infx2, TD, Eng), 45 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    Ger(
    Zolkiew - River Crossing): 223 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    Ger(
    Chelm - River Crossing): 4 LeichteD (Motx2, AC), 3 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC)
    47.867 men
    / 299 KIA​

    14. Lwow 5 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 3 - Victory)
    08 Jul 42 01:00 - 02:00
    SU: XXIX GvSK (HQ, Gdsx2, AT - Popov M.M., L4, DD), 72 GvSD (TD, Eng), 10 TTGvD, 76 GvSD (AT, Eng), 77 GvSD (AT, Eng),
    49 SD (Art, AT), XII SK (HQ, Infx2, AT)
    70.857 men / 12 KIA
    Ger (Przemysl): 1 PzD (Arm, Mot, Mot-AA, Eng - Heinrici, L5, BM), 8 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    15.858 men /
    84 KIA​
    15. Switaz 4 (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    08 Jul 42 01:00 - 02:00
    SU: 54 SD (Art, AT - Chernyak, L2-3), 104 SD (Art, AT), 23 SD (Art, AT)
    31.722 men /
    19 KIA
    Ger (Chelm - River Crossing): 16 ID(m) (Motx2, TD, Mot-AA - von Massow, L2, OD), 46 ID (Infx2, AT, Eng), Kav-Kdo (Cavx2)
    21.994 men /
    46 KIA​

    16. Turka 2 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    10 Jul 42 01:00
    SU: 10 SD (Art, TD - Shtevnev, L2, BM), 48 SD (Art, AT), 56 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT)
    54.376 men /
    18 KIA
    Ger(Gorlice - River Crossing): 228 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - von Beyer, L4, BM)
    7.979 men
    / 36 KIA
    Hun(Gorlice - River Crossing): 2 Gly (Infx2 - Veress, L3)
    Hun(
    Uzhorod): 16 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT)
    13.995 men /
    63 KIA

    17. Poryck (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    09 Jul 42 17:00 - 10 Jul 42 06:00
    SU: 11 SD (Art, AT - Leselidze, L2, FB)
    10.895 men /
    100 KIA
    Ger(Luboml): 4 LeichteD (Motx2, AC - Geib, L4, DD)
    6.998 men
    / 120 KIA​

    18. Sanok 4 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    10 Jul 42 01:00 - 07:00
    SU: 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk), 139 SD (Art, AT), 2 SD (Art, AT), 159 SD (Art, AT), 189 SD (Art, AT)
    54.760 men /
    43 KIA
    Ger(Jaroslaw - River Crossing): 93 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - von Bismarck, L2, BM), 211 ID (Infx2, ??)
    Ger(
    Debica - River Crossing): 196 ID (Infx2, AT, AA)
    Ger(
    Jaworow): 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC)
    Ger(
    Gorlice - River Crossing): 216 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    39.922 men
    / 332 KIA
    Hun(Gorlice - River Crossing): 7 Gly (Infx2 - Ruszkiczay-Rüdiger, L2)
    5.998 men / 431 KIA

    19. Sambor (Attack - Plains - Victory)
    10 Jul 42 13:00
    SU (Drohobycz): 183 SD (Art, AT - Purkaev S. F., L2, WS), 27 SD (Art, AT)
    21.529 men /
    10 KIA
    Ger: 5 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA - Phleps, L3, OD)
    25.497 men
    / 11 KIA​

    20. Turka 3 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    10 Jul 42 19:00 - 11 Jul 42 15:00
    SU: 10 SD (Art, TD - Shtevnev, L2, BM), 48 SD (Art, AT), 56 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT)
    54.357 men /
    345 KIA
    Ger(Jaworow): 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Model, L6, DD, BM), 2 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA)
    Ger(
    Gorlice - River Crossing): 228 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - von Beyer, L4, BM)
    23.915 men
    / 914 KIA​

    21. Jaworow 7 (Attack - Plains - Defeat)
    11 Jul 42 14:00 16:00
    SU (Sanok): 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk), 139 SD (Art, AT), 2 SD (Art, AT), 159 SD (Art, AT), 189 SD (Art, AT)
    54.765 men /
    105 KIA
    Ger (Multiple Combat Penalty): 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Model, L6, DD, BM), 2 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA), SS-Verf. (WSS)
    18.454 men
    / 102 KIA​

    22. Kowel (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    11 Jul 42 07:00 - 12 Jul 42 03:00
    SU: 33 SD (Art, AT - Kholostyakov, L2, Cdo), 179 SD (Art, AT)
    21.988 men /
    144 KIA
    Ger(Maloryta): 34 ID (Infx3 - Volkmann, L3, OD)
    8.997 men
    / 476 KIA​

    23. Sanok 5 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    11 Jul 42 16:00 - 12 Jul 42 03:00
    SU: 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk), 139 SD (Art, AT), 2 SD (Art, AT), 159 SD (Art, AT), 189 SD (Art, AT)
    54.659 men /
    27 KIA
    Ger(Debica - River Crossing): 15 PzD (Arm, Mot, SP-Art, TD - Kirchner, L4, BM), 8 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA),
    SSD(m) 'Wiking' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA, Eng)
    24.712 men / 281 KIA
    Hun(Gorlice - River Crossing): 2 Gly (Infx2 - Veress, L3)
    5.931 men / 357 KIA

    Southern German Front totals:
    SU: 940.578 / 4.684 KIA
    Ger: 458.446 / 8.047 KIA​

    Hungarian Front (3 AG & 4 AG / Brjansk HQ & Odessa HQ):
    hungarians-1-min.jpg

    Hungarian forces of 5. TP on the move towards Stanislawow. After several days of fighting, the outnumbered Soviet defenders are retreating. The first offensive victory of the war for the Hungarians. The question remains whether they'll be able to occupy the province before Col. General Volskiy manages to move a fresh Rifle Division into their path. They are equipped with great war era Mannlicher M1895 bolt-action rifles, and their uniforms are a mix of Wehrmacht surplus and Great War era stuff. Both in equipment and training, they seem to be significantly behind the curve.
    Hostilities on the Hungarian border started with Shtevnev probing the Hungarian defences in the Hills of Uzhorod (1) at 4pm on the 4th of July, the battle lasted only two hours as the entrenched Hungarian defenders outnumbered their attackers four to one.

    A Hungarian probe into Drohobycz (2) at 1am the next day was shrugged off in minutes.

    A brave Soviet Attack on Volove (3), was initiated at 1am on the 6th of July with twice as many Hungarian defenders in the mountains, as there were attackers, it was abandoned at 3am. At 5am, a Hungarian attack into Stanislawow (8) started, numbers are 2-1 in Hungary's favour, it might end badly.

    At 1am on the 8th, another Hungarian probe into Drohobycz (4) started, it was repelled in an hour.

    Only on the 10th was there more action. A Soviet 2-division attack on Volove (5) was started to relieve some of the pressure on Stanislawow (8). A simultaneous Hungarian attack on Dolina (), from where the attack on Volove (5) was launched, cut short this experiment, as Larichev wisely decided to concentrate on holding his position. This did mean that the defenders of Dolina (6) weren't entrenched in the face of the oncoming attack. Dolina (6) was held, and that battle was over by 6am, as well as the third Hungarian probe into Drohobycz (7). The battle of Stanisalwow (8) was lost at 9am. After more than 4 days of fighting, the outnumbered Soviet riflemen could take no more, casualties are slightly in favour of Hungary, with 1.200 Soviet KIA's, for just short of 1.000 Hungarians.

    Another battle for Drohovycz (10) started at 4am on the 11th of July. As night fell, at 10pm, two Soviet attacks started, one into Volove (11), and one into Svalava (). In both cases, the riflemen were outnumbered. But there were some favourable factors. In Volove (), the defenders had been softened up by bombing runs and previous fighting, and in Svalava (12), some of the dfenders were distracted by their own offensive into Drohovycz (10).

    By midnight, the Hungarians halted their attack on Drohowycz (10), and 4ya Armiya halted it's attack on Volove (11). The attack on Svalava (12) ended in failure at 9am on the 12th, with twice as many Soviet losses as Hungarian ones.

    4AG42-07-12-min.jpeg

    Map of 4ya Armiya's front line (teal). The smaller circles indicate small scale battles (in number of Red Army troops involved).
    With the addition of a corps from the Romanian border, the Hungarian Border can probably be held. Worryingly, Bulgarian troops are making their way to the front, though it isn't clear whether they will reinforce the German southern front, or the Hungarian border.

    1. Uzhorod (Attack - Hills - Defeat)
    04 Jul 42 16:00 - 18:00
    SU (Turka): 10 SD (Art, TD - Shtevnev, L2, BM)
    11.000 men /
    105 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),
    7 Gly (Infx2), 9 Gly (Infx2)
    51.972 men / 22 KIA
    2. Drohobycz (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    05 Jul 42 01:00
    SU: 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (Art, AT)
    19.994 men /
    17 KIA
    Hun(Uzhorod): 16 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT - ?)
    Hun(
    Svalava): 32 TP (Infx2, AT, Art), 27 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 30 Gly (Infx2, AT, Art)
    31.970 men /
    5 KIA
    3. Volove (Attack - Hills - Defeat)
    06 Jul 42 01:00 - 03:00
    SU (Dolina): 121 SD (Art, TD - Larichev, L2, DD), 55 SD (Art, AT)
    21.994 men /
    70 KIA
    Hun: 5 TP (Infx2, AT, AA - Malor J., L2, BM), 31 TP (Infx2, AT, AA), , 8 TP (Infx2, AT, Art), 6 TP (Infx2, AT, Art),
    'Szent Laszlo' Hly (Infx2, AT, AA)
    39.981 men / 17 KIA
    4. Drohobycz 2 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    08 Jul 42 01:00 - 02:00
    SU: 27 SD (AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (AT)
    20.724 men /
    25 KIA
    Hun(Svalava): 25 Gly (Infx2, AT, AA - Kiss L., L2, LW), 27 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT)
    Hun(
    Uzhorod): 16 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 3 TP (Infx2, AT, AA)
    31.994 men /
    34 KIA

    5. Volove 2 (Attack - Hills - Defeat)
    10 Jul 42 01:00 - 02:00
    SU (Dolina): 121 SD (Art, TD - Larichev, L2, DD), 55 SD (Art, AT)
    21.998 men /
    31 KIA
    Hun: 5 TP (Infx2, AT, AA - Major J., L2, BM), 31 TP (Infx2, AT, AA), , 8 TP (Infx2, AT, Art), 6 TP (Infx2, AT, Art),
    'Szent Laszlo' Hly (Infx2, AT, AA)
    38.289 men / 8 KIA

    6. Dolina (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    10 Jul 42 01:00 - 06:00
    SU (Multiple Combat Penalty): 121 SD (Art, TD - Larichev, L2, DD), 55 SD (Art, AT)
    20.724 men /
    25 KIA
    Hun(Volove): 31 TP (Infx2, AT, AA - Decleva, L2, LW), 'Szent Laszlo' Hly (Infx2, AT, AA)
    15.919 men /
    51 KIA

    7. Drohobycz 3 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    10 Jul 42 04:00 - 06:00
    SU: 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (Art, AT), 176 SD (AT)
    31.529 men /
    1 KIA
    Hun(Uzhorod): 25 Gly (Infx2, AT, AA - Kiss L., L2, LW)
    Hun(
    Svalava): 27 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT)
    15.992 men /
    63 KIA

    8. Stanislawow (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    05 Jul 42 05:00 - 10 Jul 42 09:00
    SU: 184 SD (Art, AT - Erastov, L2, OD)
    10.780 men /
    1.200 KIA
    Hun(Volove): 5 TP (Infx2, AT, AA - Major J., L2, BM), 6 TP (Infx2, AT, Art),
    Hun(
    Rachov): 13 Gly (Infx2)
    21.982 men /
    926 KIA

    9. Drohobycz 4 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    10 Jul 42 14:00 - 16:00
    SU: 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (Art, AT), 176 SD (AT)
    31.518 men /
    36 KIA
    Hun(Svalava): 32 TP (Infx2, AT, Art - Brunswik, L1, OD), 4 TP (Infx2, AT, Art)
    Hun(
    Uzhorod): 20 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT)
    23.995 men /
    83 KIA

    10. Drohobycz 5 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    10 Jul 42 14:00 - 16:00
    SU: 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (Art, AT), 176 SD (AT)
    31.480 men /
    232 KIA
    Hun(Svalava): 24 Gly (Infx2, AT, AA - Stomm, L3, BM), 30 Gly (Infx2, AT, Art)
    15.997 men /
    312 KIA

    11. Volove 3 (Attack - Hills - Defeat)
    11 Jul 42 22:00 - 00:00
    SU (Dolina): 121 SD (Art, TD - Larichev, L2, DD), 55 SD (Art, AT)
    22.000 men /
    53 KIA
    Hun: 5 TP (Infx2, AT, AA - Major J., L2, BM), 31 TP (Infx2, AT, AA), , 8 TP (Infx2, AT, Art), 6 TP (Infx2, AT, Art),
    'Szent Laszlo' Hly (Infx2, AT, AA)
    37.809 men / 9 KIA

    12. Svalava (Attack - Hills - Defeat)
    11 Jul 42 22:00 - 12 Jul 42 09:00
    SU (Skole): 182 SD (Art, TD - Ermakov, L2, OD), 143 SD (Art, AT)
    21.752 men /
    313 KIA
    Hun: 32 TP (Infx2, AT, Art - Brunswik, L1, OD), 4 TP (Infx2, AT, Art), 27 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 24 Gly (Infx2, AT, AA), 30 Gly (Infx2, AT, Art)
    39.620 men /
    145 KIA
    Hungarian totals:
    SU: 346.177 / 2.144 KIA
    Hun: 399.414 / 2.549 KIA
    Bombardment:
    7 Bomber and Assault Aviation Divisions were deployed and have been flying Ground Attack missions in support of ground troops. Nearly 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

    - Suwalki (3 / 22 / 283)
    - Kybartai (9 / 19 / 1.307)
    - Lapy (9 / 14 / 1.055)
    - Hajnowka (4 / 1 / 574)
    IV IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Rychagov, L2, SAT

    - Suwalki (1 / 0 / 9)
    I ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Zhigarev, L3, TB

    - Jaroslaw (3 / 18 / 475)
    - Volove (6 / 19 / 713)
    - Svalava (1 / 0 / 98)
    IV ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Rudenko, L2, TB

    - Zolkiew (10 / 21 / 1.108)
    - Uzhorod (1 / 21 / 83)
    - Zamosc (1 / 4 / 195)
    - Kobryn (2 / 0 / 241)
    - Luboml (1 / 2 / 125)
    - Maloryta (1 / 1 / 181)
    V ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Goryunov, L2

    - Kalvarija (4 / 15 / 347)
    - Plunge (2 / 1 / 116)
    - Siauliai (3 / 1 / 293)
    - Jurbarkas (8 / 23 / 860)
    - Raseinai (1 / 1 / 75)
    - Vainode (5 / 2 / 410)
    II BAK - Ftr, Tacx2 - 124 La-7, 200 Yak-4 - 524 airmen - Vinnytsya - Lt. Gen. Av. Yakovlev, L3, TB

    - Zamosc (4 / 11 / 584)
    - Jaworow (1 / 5 / 117)
    - Debica (1 / 4 / 162)
    - Volove (7 / 27 / 1.389)
    I BAK - Ftr, Tacx2 - 124 La-7, 200 Yak-4 - 524 airmen - Minsk - Lt. Gen. Av. Golovanov, L3-4, CB

    - Lapy (2 / 1 / 247)
    - Bialystok (14 / 12 / 1.965)
    III ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Kutakhov, L3, TB

    - Taurage (12 / 12 / 1.429)
    - Kalvarija (7 / 16 / 858)
    - Dobele (2 / 1 / 266)
    - Merech (3 / 7 / 429)
    Logistical Strikes, there still only one Heavy Bombardment Division active, as 2. DBAD is still getting organised. After infrastructure in Maloryta had been reduced to pre-historic levels, and the fall of Brzesc Litewski. Logistical Strikes on Luboml started, in an attempt to avoid a 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 - 81 TB-3 - 648 airmen - Homel - Maj. Gen. Av. Kalinin, L2
    - Maloryta (10 / 0 / 2 / 2,24 / 82,3 / 62,8)
    - Luboml (7 / 1 / 0 / 3,29 / 63,1 / 42,8)

    Junkers Ju-86K-2_HAF-min.jpg

    Hungarian Ju-86K-2's also attempted to bomb our troops, but as opposed to some of the German Ju-88s, they never even got close to Soviet lines before they were intercepted.
    Three Axis bombing missions managed to kill Soviet Servicemen on the ground, right before being intercepted by the VVS, the others were intercepted before they could do any damage.

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

    Luftflotte 'Mahnke' - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 186 Ju-88A-4 - 856 airmen - Genlt. Mahnke, L5, TB, CB
    - Narew (1 / 54 / 261)
    Luftflotte 'Sperrle' - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 161 Ju-88A-4 - 756 airmen - Genlt. Sperrle, L5, TB, CB

    - Saldus (1 / 146 / 147)
    Luftflotte 'Dörstling' - Ftr, Tacx2 - 89 FW-190D, 185 Ju-88A-4 - 829 airmen - Genlt. Dörstling, L3, TB

    - Saldus (1 / 55 / 206)
    Bombing Totals (last 10 days):
    VVS bomber losses: 130 Missions / 405 planes (30 Yak-4's, 171 Il-10s, 203 La-7's, 1 TB-3) / 613 KIA
    Luftwaffe bomber losses: 3 Missions / 255 planes (177 Ju-88A-4, 127 FW-190D) / 835 KIA
    RHAF bomber losses: 173 planes (94 Ju-86K-2, 79 Ju-87) / 346 KIA
    Axis Bombing losses: 15.941 KIA / 2 AAA guns / 5,5 Infra / 145,4 Supplies / 105,6 Fuel
    Soviet Bombing losses: 408 KIA
    Bombing Totals (GPW - 20 days):

    VVS bomber losses: 251 Missions / 759 planes (177 Yak-4's, 300 Il-10s, 281 La-7's, 1 TB-3) / 1.243 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: 32.874 KIA / 7 AAA guns / 8,9 Infra / 269,4 Supplies / 612,1 Fuel
    Soviet Bombing losses: 408 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. German efforts that were successful in killing Soviet servicemen on the ground are indicated with grey German-designed bombs. (all 100kg for Tac)
    VVS_42-07-12-min.jpeg

    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:
    The air war continued, with clear Soviet superiority over the main front line. 6 more German attempts at bombing our troops were intercepted, with our Yak-7s inflicting a heavy toll on German bomber wings and their escorting fighters. Some bombers did manage to drop there bombs on our troops before being intercepted, but all told the losses are minor, with more than 80 times as many losses having been inflicted on the Axis by our bombers since the start of the war. A halfhearted attempt by the Luftwaffe to try and stop our bombers over Suwalki ended when the only German Interceptor wing near the front was further reduced to less than 25% of it's original number of aeroplanes.

    With the Hungarian entry into the war, the Royal Hungarian Air Force (RHAF) came out in force. First, they attempted to disrupt a VVS ground attack mission over Uzhorod, with Italian-built CR.32 biplanes. Then they threw there slightly less obsolete German surplus bombers at our own lines, three times. Every time, VVS fighters managed to fly rings around the Hungarian planes, with very minimal losses to the VVS, the RHAF was banished from the skies again and again, having lost a third of it's bomber force, and a tenth of it's CR.32 fighter force. (and that's only because the Il-10s were often in the way of the Yak-7's line of fire, with the CR.32s purposefully using the slow Assault bombers, who were occupied bombing Hungarians on the ground, to shield themselves from death by four 12,7mm Berezin UB machine-guns.

    The air over the Western Baltic Sea and the Öresund was something else entirely. The Navy Air Fleet faced close to 1.000 Me-109s, and only through a cunning distraction could paratroopers be landed in Slagelse without being shot to pieces before they even left their aeroplanes. If operation Aegir goes well, the Air Base in Copenhagen should provide the VVS with the infrastructure to contest air superiority over the Western Baltic and Zealand.

    1. Switaz (German Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    03 Jul 42 05:00 - 08:00
    VVS: VII IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Brzesc Litweski - Lt. Gen. Av. Eremin, L3
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    10 downed / 10 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 106, KG 54, KG 55 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 186 Ju-88A-4 - 856 airmen - ? - Genlt. Keller, L3, SAT, TB
    298 planes / 856 airmen /
    54 downed / 63 KIA​

    2. Suwalki (Soviet Ground Attack / German & Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    03 Jul 42 14:00 - 18:00
    VVS: II ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 121 La-7, 247 Il-10 - 615 airmen - Nowogrodek - Marshall Av. Novikov, L3, TB
    IV IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Rychagov, L2, SAT
    864 planes / 1.111 airmen / 23 downed / 42 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 4 - Intx3 - 73 Me-109G - 73 airmen - ? - Genmaj. Fisser, L1, SAT
    73 planes / 73 airmen /
    49 downed / 49 KIA
    3. Uzhorod (Soviet Ground Attack / Hungarian & Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    04 Jul 42 18:00 - 21:00
    VVS: IV ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 120 La-7, 232 Il-10 - 584 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Rudenko, L2, TB
    I IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Rog, L3
    848 planes / 1.080 airmen / 21 downed / 40 KIA
    RHAF: I Vly, I Ely, II Ely - Intx3 - 369 CR.32 - 369 airmen - ? - Vezds. (Lt. Gen. Av.) Rakösi, L1, SAT
    369 planes / 369 airmen /
    34 downed / 34 KIA
    4. Mariampolé (German Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    08 Jul 42 08:00 - 11:00
    VVS: IV IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Rychagov, L2, SAT
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    10 downed / 10 KIA
    Luftwaffe: KG 28, KG 51 - Tacx2 - 186 Ju-88A-4 - 744 airmen - ? - Genlt. Göring, L3, CB
    186 planes / 744 airmen /
    50 downed / 200 KIA​

    5. Narew (German Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    08 Jul 42 11:00 - 14:00
    VVS: VII IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Brzesc Litweski - Lt. Gen. Av. Eremin, L3
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    25 downed / 25 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 54, KG 26, KG 27 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 186 Ju-88A-4 - 856 airmen - ? - Genlt. Mahnke, L3, SAT
    298 planes / 856 airmen /
    54 downed / 189 KIA​

    6. Saldus (German Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    11 Jul 42 05:00 - 08:00
    VVS: IV IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Rychagov, L2, SAT
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    27 downed / 27 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 104, KG 25, KG 30 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 161 Ju-88A-4 - 756 airmen - ? - Genlt. Sperrle, L5, TB, CB
    273 planes / 756 airmen /
    121 downed / 283 KIA​

    7. Pommeranian Coast (Soviet Intercept - Weather -14,5% (fog) - Victory)
    11 Jul 42 12:00 - 15:00
    VMF: 2 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 96 airmen - Leningrad (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
    7 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 96 airmen - Moskva (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Kapitochin, L2
    128 planes / 192 airmen / 1 downed / 2 KIA
    Luftwaffe: Seeaufklärungsgruppe - Nav - 33 Ju-290A-5 - 297 airmen - ? - Oberst Ritter, L3, FD
    33 planes / 297 airmen /
    9 downed / 81 KIA
    8. Turka (Hungarian Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    11 Jul 42 12:00 - 15:00
    VVS: VI IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Rog, L3
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    1 downed / 1 KIA
    RHAF: I VazOs - Tac - 93 Ju-86K-2 - 186 airmen - ? - Altbgy. (Maj. Gen. Av.) Hellebronth, L0, SAT
    93 planes / 186 airmen /
    34 downed / 68 KIA

    9. Drohobycz (Hungarian Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    11 Jul 42 14:00 - 17:00
    VVS: II IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Astakhov, L4, NF
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    1 downed / 1 KIA
    RHAF: I Bdly, II Bdly - Tacx2 - 186 Ju-86K-2 - 372 airmen - ? - Vezds. (Lt. Gen. Av.) Rapaich, L1, TB
    186 planes / 372 airmen /
    60 downed / 120 KIA

    10. Öresund (Soviet Air Superiority / German Intercept - Weather -2,5% (fog) - Defeat)
    11 Jul 42 23:00 - 12 Jul 42 03:00
    VMF: 7 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 96 airmen - Moskva (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Kapitochin, L2
    2 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 96 airmen - Leningrad (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
    128 planes / 192 airmen / 9 downed / 14 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 27, JG 138, JG 433, JG 203, JG zbV, JG 301, JG 2, JG 26, JG 109 -
    Intx9 - 968 Me-109G - 968 airmen - ? - Genlt. Lörzer, L3, SAT
    968 planes / 968 airmen / 112 downed / 112 KIA​

    11. Skole (Hungarian Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    12 Jul 42 06:00 - 09:00
    VVS: VI IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Rog, L3
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    1 downed / 1 KIA
    RHAF: I ZbO - CAS - 123 Ju-87 - 246 airmen - ? - Altbgy. (Maj. Gen. Av.) Orosz, L0, TB
    123 planes / 246 airmen /
    79 downed / 158 KIA

    12. Saldus (German Ground Attack attempt / Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    11 Jul 42 05:00 - 08:00
    VVS: V IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Rezneke - Lt. Gen. Av. Skripko, L4
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    25 downed / 25 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 50, KG 50, KG 76 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 89 FW-190D, 185 Ju-88A-4 - 829 airmen - ? - Genlt. Dörstling, L3, TB
    274 planes / 829 airmen /
    55 downed / 148 KIA​

    13. Pommeranian Coast (Soviet CAG Duty / German Intercept - Defeat)
    12 Jul 42 05:00 - 08:00
    VMF: 7 KPA - CAG - 28 La-7VM, 29 Il-10VM - 86 airmen - Moskva (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Kapitochin, L2
    2 KPA - CAG - 29 La-7VM, 29 Il-10VM - 87 airmen - Leningrad (Southern Baltic) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
    115 planes / 173 airmen / 20 downed / 30 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 27, JG 138, JG 433, JG 203, JG zbV, JG 301 - Intx6 - 528 Me-109G - 528 airmen - ? - Genlt. Lörzer, L3, SAT
    528 planes / 528 airmen / 101 downed / 101 KIA​
    Air Totals (last 10 days):

    VVS: 10 battles / 120 Ground Attack / 10 Log. Bomb. / 480 (30 Yak-4, 171 Il-10, 203 La-7, 75 Yak-7, 1 TB-3) / 688 KIA
    VMF (Air Fleet): 3 battles / 1 Naval Strike / 33 (16 La-7VM, 17 Il-10VM) / 50 KIA
    Total SU: 13 battles / 120 Ground Attack / 10 Log. Bomb. / 1 Naval Strike / 513 / 738 KIA

    Luftwaffe: 9 battles / 3 Ground Attack / 501 (213 Me-109G, 127 FW-190D, 152 Ju-88A-4, 9 Ju-290A) / 1.029 KIA
    RHAF: 4 Battles / 207 (158 Ju-87, 188 Ju-86K-2, 34 CR.32) / 380 KIA
    Axis: 13 Battles / 3 Ground Attacks / 708 / 1.409 KIA

    CR32-HAF-min.jpg

    Hungarian Fiat CR.32, Italian-built, interwar biplanes, manned and maintained by Hungarians, what could possibly go wrong. Jokes aside, the Hungarian fighter units were surprisingly resilient for their age, with Hungarian pilots taking full advantage of our Il-10s, which were active in the area. Our Yak-7s had to be careful not to hit VVS assault bombers, allowing the Hungarians to come out very disorganised, but largely unscathed. (when compared to the bloodbath that could have been). Now that they know they're hopelessly outmatched, the Hungarian Air Force might keep it's aeroplanes grounded. That said, if they try again, our pilots will surely enjoy the target practice.

    Aegean Sea (Odessa HQ):
    I. Avianosets Flote has made it to Mythiléné, where it has been joined by the brand new 9. Flotiliya Esmintsev. After a sufficient quantity of fuel and supplies has been stocked, the crews have gotten some rest, and a new rear admiral makes his way over, our Carrier Fleet will be ready to sail again. There is still some disagreement on what our Carriers should do first:

    - Find and eliminate the Bulgarian Navy, probably in it's home port, using the superior air power the fleet can bring to bear.
    - Go out further into the Mediterranean, and look for the Italian fleet.
    - Simply patrol the Eastern Mediterranean, sinking supply ships, and waiting for any enemy reaction.
    - Stay in port to save supplies and possibly relocate some of the CAGs to the Baltic to replace the losses suffered in operation Aegir.​

    Convoy Raiding:
    Baltic Sea: 35 Axis convoys sunk​

    Total numbers (GPW):
    OV42-07-12-min.jpg


    Total Ground losses:

    SU: 3.057.847 (+ 2.112.658) / 53.651 KIA (+20.109) (53.243 (+18.988 / ground), 408 (+408 / air)) / 17.689 POW (+17.689)
    Ger: 1.881.699 (+882.687) / 49.407 (+23.496 / ground)
    Hun: 399.414 / 2.549 (ground)
    Axis: 2.281.113 (+1.282.101) / 84.830 KIA (51.956 (+26.045 / ground), 32.874 (+15.941 / air))​

    Total Navy losses:
    VMF (Surface Fleet): 1 Naval Battle / CVL -3% (air) / CA -4% (surface) / CL -10% (air) / 106 KIA
    Kriegsmarine: 1 Naval Battle / 1 DD / 37 (+35) convoys lost / 1.280 KIA​

    Total Air Losses (GPW):
    VVS: 17 battles / 251 Grd. Attacks / 16 Log. Bomb. / 915 (75 Yak-4, 300 Il-10, 317 La-7, 195 Yak-7, 27 Li-2, 1 TB-3) / 1.519 KIA
    VMF (Air Fleet): 6 battles / 1 Naval Strike / 48 (24 La-7VM, 24 Il-10VM) / 72 KIA
    Total SU: 23 battles / 268 bombing missions / 963 / 1.519 KIA
    Luftwaffe: 19 battles / 3 Ground Attack / 1 Naval Strike / 870 (273 Me-109G, 319 FW-190D, 261 Ju-88A-4, 17 Ju-290A) / 1.789 KIA
    RHAF: 4 Battles / 207 (158 Ju-87, 188 Ju-86K-2, 34 CR.32) / 380 KIA
    Axis: 23 Battles / 4 bombing missions / 1.077 / 2.169 KIA​

    Total Losses (GPW):
    72.965 (+37.947 (SU)) / 88.279 (+44.683) (Axis)

    These 10 days saw some worrying developments in the North, and the start of operation Aegir. The Armoured AG is still on it's way, but it can be seen closing in with some units less than 100km from the front. A big armoured offensive, with the possible encirclement of tens of German Divisions should stabilise the line in the North. If all goes well, it should also draw German troops from the Southern front, allowing that to stabilise in turn. I'm a bit afraid for 'Odinatsat' and her dangerous mission, but I'm glad she's gained the favour of the brass, to an extent, and that she's been reunited with Sergei. Let's hope we all come out of this war alive. As always, your input is valued,​

    Greetings,

    'Odin'​
     
    12th of July 1942, 'Odinatsat' #15, Captain Goleniewsky's Platoon.
  • roverS3

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    12th of July 1942, Vologda, 7,6 °C, 8pm,

    I was still working when there was a knock on the door to my office. It was one of the clerks, he held a letter in his hand, and had a rather apologetic look on his face:

    "This letter arrived three days ago, but somehow, it wasn't filed correctly, and only just now did I find it in a pile of newspapers. A short investigation has revealed that I am the one who filed it incorrectly. I failed to uphold the high standards that are required to keep the Committee informed, and running smoothly. I must apologise profusely for this grave error that's unbecoming of a Secret Committee employee, I would understand if you terminated my employment or relegated me to a less senior role..."
    I interrupted him:

    "I'm sure having to stand here in front of me and apologise for your mistakes is punishment enough. I also think we need to recruit more clerks. You're all overworked because of the massive amount of correspondence coming in from the front. Mistakes are bound to happen in these circumstances. Will you please hand me the letter now?"
    He handed me the letter, and with a final "I'm sorry", he ran off before I changed my mind and had him fired... The letter had the marking XI, indicating it came from our woman at the front. I opened it with anticipation, what had she been up to?

    The 8th of July 1942, Lwow, 5,7°C, 8pm Moscow Time

    Dear 'Odin',

    Since this morning a lot has happened, so I thought it worthwhile to write to you again. I'll simply pick up where I left off:

    After leaving the breakfast meeting with Lt. General Popov, the Lt. General's driver offered to find me a staff car. A note from the Lt. General in hand, I followed Starshina Vorobyev to the motor pool for Popov's Headquarters Division, located in the central courtyard of the city hall. As we entered the courtyard, I was starting to doubt I would find any suitable personal transportation here at all. It's not that the courtyard was empty, there was a pair of ZiS-101 staff cars, one of them the Lt. General's, and three GAZ-M1s. All of those had Red Army plates and specific markings indicating they were the dedicated personal transport for some superior officer, Lt. Colonel and up. They were definitely off limits for me. More at the back was a single GAZ-AA lorry, but that wasn't an option as mechanics were hard at work on the engine. If I helped them out I could maybe get my hands on it, but it wasn't really what I was looking for. As we got past the partly disassembled lorry, we could finally see the man in charge. A junior lieutenant, sitting behind a foldable field table, set up under a canvas roof (the top part of a standard military tent), in the corner of the courtyard. As he heard us coming, the young man briefly glanced up from the logbook in front of him, then, simply continued writing. We walked right up to the front of the table and stopped.

    The Junior Lieutenant finished scribbling whatever he was scribbling, and then looked up from his book. He looked at Vorobyev, then turned to me. His face went white, and he jumped up to salute me. He was stumbling over his words:

    “My apologies... Captain... I didn't mean to be rude. I thought...”​

    Clearly he had not noticed, nor taken mental note of my rank when he had glanced up previously, and now he found himself in the awkward situation of having not only not saluted a superior officer when she had appeared in front of him, but also having made said officer wait for him to finish whatever he was doing before tending to her needs, even if it was only for four seconds.

    I shortly responded to his salute:

    “At ease Lieutenant. Don't let it happen again.”
    “It won't Sir... eh Mam.”
    “I have an order here from Lt. General Popov himself for me to be allocated a personal vehicle.”
    He had another apologetic look on his face, but this one was different, more of a 'I can't do anything about this' rather than a 'This is definitely my fault'

    “Mam, I'm sorry to put it so bluntly, but as far as I know orders from the Lt. General don't conjure up staff cars. We're all out of vehicles here. Only last week, most of our spare cars were transferred to other units that needed them closer to the front. As for lorries, they're all needed to move equipment and people around. This morning's orders from Lt. General Popov: 'Essential equipment and staff must relocate every week, and after every attack in their sector, to keep the enemy guessing for their location'.” - pointing at the GAZ-AA the mechanics were frantically working on - “I'm already in trouble because this lorry is out of action due of a mistake during maintenance. Someone didn't check the cooling liquid level, and there was a leak. They had to disassemble the entire cooling system to find it. Luckily someone spotted the leaked fluid underneath the lorry before the engine overheated.”
    I decided to put him under pressure. I felt a bit sorry for the man, but this was the best chance I had of getting some form of transportation.

    “Are you absolutely sure lieutenant... You have nothing I could use to get around the city? If you can't find anything I would be very disappointed, and so would Lt. General Popov.”
    He was visibly shaking now.

    “Mam, I'm really quite sure... ehm... Let me check.”

    "You do that."
    He turned a few pages in his ledger, desperate to find anything to make up for his gaffes, and make me a somewhat satisfied customer at least. After a full 5 minutes of this, he looked up at me and said:

    “Follow me.”
    We followed him around the GAZ-AA, and there it was,... something under a large tarpaulin... it definitely wasn't a car. He lifted the tarpaulin dramatically to reveal a rather dirty motorcycle.

    “Captain, may I present to you, the PMZ-A-750, produced between 1934 and 1939, in Podolsk. It's been phased out in the Red Army, and any other official capacity since 1939. This one is a 1938 model. I didn't even remember we had this thing. I must warn you, the ignition has a mind of it's own, the gearbox is sluggish, and I would strongly advise you don't go over 50 km/h, especially on rough ground. At those speeds, the front wheel is prone to start vibrating uncontrollably, along with the engine. There's a reason we don't use these things anymore, I'm sorry I can't offer you anything better right now, mam.”​

    “I'll take it.”

    “As you wish mam. That thing has been sitting here for almost three years. I don't think anyone even looked at it in that time, it needs a service. You'll have to wait until my guys are done with the GAZ-AA though, that's top priority. ”

    Motorcycle_Movie-min.jpg

    The Podolsk PMZ-A-750. The chassis was 'inspired' by BMWs of the time, the engine was a 750cc V-shaped unit, inspired by a Harley Davidson engine. Despite the liberal use of these sources of 'inspiration', or maybe because of it, this motorcycle was an unmitigated disaster. Over 4.600 were produced before the scale of the reliability, and stability issues was realised. All those in service were pulled out of service immediately, and replaced, as quickly as possible, by the M-72, which was a straight-forward copy of the BMW R71, and very reliable. To the point where no PMZ-A-750s were in active service by ww2. A PMZ-A-750 can be seen, ridden by the female protagonist in 'Tractors' a Soviet romantic Comedy about a love triangle set in a Utopian collective farm in which tractor drivers are the heroes, released in 1938. The movie was released in a period of increased border tensions with Japan, and a destabilising Europe. According to Russian Wikipedia, and google translate, the movie has significant undertones of impending war; With the tractors functioning as 'peacetime tanks', and the hero tractor drivers personifying the hero tank drivers of the wars ahead. Also the main male protagonist returns from a stint in the Army in the Far East, so there's that. (I start out by researching motorcycles, and I end up learning about the strange and wonderful world of Soviet state-sanctioned romantic comedies of the late 1930s. Now I actually want to look for this movie, and watch it, if I find a version with subtitles... The picture is from the movie.)
    Thankful to have something to do while I waited for Sergei to fly over from Kyiv, I asked the Junior Lieutenant for a spare set of tools and some space to work. You had to see the look on his face. A captain doing mechanical work was rather uncommon, and I guess that he least expected it from a female captain.​

    I spent two hours going over the motorcycle, cleaning it, oiling the chain, checking for wear and tear, and finally, filling the tank with fuel. It must have gotten a service shortly before it was taken out of circulation as it was in remarkably good shape, and by that I mean that it didn't take much for it to work as badly as it did when it came out of the factory. After jumping up and down on the crank for a good ten minutes, the ignition decided to spark, and the thing started. It was everything the Lieutenant had promised, it was shaking along with the engine, even at low speeds, and it pulled to the right, something I suspect would get worse at higher speeds.​

    By the time I got to Lwow Air Base, the ANT-9 was already on the ground, taxiing to the shed they called a terminal building, a staff car was waiting to take a particularly important passenger to his destination. As the aeroplane came to a halt, the door was opened, and an Artillery Colonel stepped out first, straight into the waiting GAZ-M1. Only once the car had driven off, could the other passengers get out. Almost unconsciously, I straightened my hair and cap before Sergei got off the Antonov. He looked around, saw me, gave me a warm smile and started walking briskly towards me. A VVS Yefreytor, who I had thought to be part of the ground crew for the Antonov, intercepted him a few metres from the plane. I couldn't exactly hear what they were saying, Sergei suddenly had a rather worried look on his face. He then ran to me, stopped, and saluted, I saluted back. His smile had come back, but not entirely.​

    “Captain Goleniewsky, – emphasis on 'Captain' - it's great to see you again.”​

    “Great to see you too, Starshina.”​

    We shared a short hug, and then Sergei continued:​

    “It's been a week since we last saw each-other, and already I'm getting posted closer to you. I expected it to take you at least a month for you to get me transferred. I'm certainly not willing to believe this is some happy coincidence. - there was some urgency in his voice - I would love to stay and chat, or take a ride on that piece of junk. - glancing at the motorcycle behind me – Sadly, duty calls. Zhigarev's unit took a lot of Flak over Volove, and they need to get as many aeroplanes back into the air for the next run. Those hungarians may not have the best Anti-Aircraft Artillery, they do have a hell of a lot of it. Our boys... and girls... on the ground need all the support they can get. Junior Sergeant of Aviation Rybakov was informing me of the details.​

    I was given leave for the entire day, but the Lt. Colonel in charge of the ground crew here heard I was coming and, despite the fact he somehow didn't have the authority to rescind my leave, he decided to have the Junior Sergeat ask me to help out anyway. Whomever pulled strings for me went all the way, but I can't let my new unit down. Right now it's all hands on deck. If you want you can watch us work for a while, and then we can have lunch. So, will you give me a ride to that hangar over there?”​

    “Sure, if I can get this darn thing to start.”​

    “Oh yes, it has that terrible ignition timing regulator, if I get some time and the right part, we can fix that. Let's walk instead.”​

    We walked the ca. 70 meters to the hangar, and then Sergei went to work. The hangar held an Il-10 which had two pierced oil lines. All the oil for the engine had leaked out of the aeroplane, and it was something of a miracle it had made it back at all, gliding several kilometres before executing a perfect landing. The engine couldn't be saved, but the airframe was fine. I looked on, and occasionally helped, as Starshina Kharkov, and a team of three mechanics, swapped the ruined engine for a brand new one and replaced all the affected oil lines in record time.​

    Body panels were screwed back on, fluids topped off, and the new Klimov engine was fired up just once for testing purposes. Some frantic adjustments were made, and then it was go time. The pilot and the gunner climbed in, and the Il-10 was off to bomb some more Hungarians.​

    The plane took off and turned slowly towards Hungary. We looked on with some degree of anxiety. Not a word was said as the mechanics listened for any misfire, or other audible issue with the engine they had just put in. Luckily, there seemed to be no audible issues before the Assault Plane disappeared out of sight, and out of hearing range. We walked back to the motorcycle, and after some tinkering with the ignition timing regulator, Sergei got it to start. As I knew where to go, and he didn't, so I drove, he held on with his arms around my waist, and my rifle was slung over his shoulder. After a rough, and rather slow, ride we reached the St. Elizabeth Church at around 1pm. Except for my gear, my rations, and some spare ammunition, everything and everyone belonging to the Red Army had left the building. I took Sergei up to the top of the tower, and we ate lunch as we overlooked the scars of previous battles. Near the end of lunch, I explained the mission I had chosen to take to Sergei, and the mood between us somewhat soured. He didn't ask for a ride back to the Air Base, preferring to walk. I could feel he was hurt and disappointed. Seeing in just how much danger I'm putting myself with his own eyes was a bit much for him, and in hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have brought him up there.​

    After what seemed like an eternity, but was really about 20 minutes, I heard some commotion downstairs. I checked my watch, and it was 1500 hours. My men had arrived. I took a minute to clean myself up, straightened out the uniform, grabbed my rifle. I was about to head downstairs, when I heard someone coming up the stairs. Suddenly, I started to panic. Were my men really there? Who was marching up those stairs? I couldn't be sure. I pulled out my tokarev, and placed myself against the wall of the staircase, so that anyone entering would have to turn 90°, away from the closest windows, to even see me. As people mostly tend to look towards the light first, I would have the element of surprise over whomever could come bursting through that door. As the steps grew louder, my body was on high alert, I was ready for anything to come through that door, then, just as the steps reached the door, they stopped. There was a light knock on the door, and then a deep male voice, in Russian with a light Ukrainian accent:​

    “Captain Goleniewsky, Sir, are you in there.”​

    I was somewhat relieved and responded in my most authoritative voice:​

    “Identify yourself.”​

    I could hear only the tiniest hint of surprise in his voice as he replied.​

    “Mam, Senior Sergeant Bondarchuk reporting for duty with a squad of 7 snipers, as per orders, Mam”​

    Only now it was clear the man wasn't an immediate threat did I let my guard down a bit and slowly holstered my tokarev. My face was covered in cold sweat. I couldn't let my men see me like this:​

    “I'll be right down Senior Sergeant.”

    “Understood, Mam.”​

    He grumbled something under his breath I couldn't quite make out and walked down the stairs.​

    After cleaning myself up a second time, I made my way downstairs. First impressions are important when you're a commander. Even more so when you are a female commanding men. I walked in regular, purposeful paces. The men all stood at attention. They had gathered near the western entrance, meaning that I had to cover over 40 m to get to them. My steps echoed through the high nave of the church. With the sunlight in my face, I could barely see more than silhouettes as I got out from under the main tower.​

    After this awkwardly long walk, in total silence, I finally reached the neatly lined-up men, who saluted me as I reached them. I acknowledged their salute, looking them over, adding another 10-second pause to illustrate I was calling the shots, before saying the magic words:

    “At ease gentlemen”​

    The sighs of relief echoed through the church.​

    “Senior Sergeant Bondarchuk, step forward please.”
    The man stepped forwards, his appearance was somewhat unexpected. The uniform was somewhat mismatched, with a brand new standard issue shirt, late 1930s trousers and a cap that had definitely seen better days. His age was difficult to pin down in a first look, he's slightly shorter than me, losing hair off the top, has a wild beard, and a nasty scar was visible on his upper neck and jaw.

    “Sergeant, am I correct in assuming that, with the exception of myself, you are the most senior officer here?”

    “Yes mam.”

    “Do you have a list of the snipers under my command?”

    “Yes mam. It's not an official list, but I took some notes on the way over here.”
    He handed me a dirty piece of paper with his notes, in the worst handwriting I've ever seen produced by an adult.

    “Sergeant Major, do you know how to type?”

    “No mam. With all due respect, I was trained to operate a Mosin-Nagant, not a typewriter.”
    That last response was a bit cheeky to my taste, so I tried to beat him at his own game.

    “May I see your Mosin-Nagant, Senior Sergeant”
    He presented his weapon to me. I took a minute to inspect it, while they all held their breath. The darn thing was spotless, and in perfect working order.

    “Very well Bondarchuk, I guess you'll have to tell me about them as your skills with the pen are vastly inferior to your skills with a gun. I've worked in intelligence, and I can't read this.”
    I handed back his hieroglyphics, and he didn't look the least bit affected by my criticism of his handwriting.

    “Let's start with you Sergeant. Tell me when you joined the Red Army, how you became a sniper, and where you have seen combat. Try to be brief.”

    “Mam. I joined the Red Army as a volunteer in 1929, I had a bit of a slow start, but eventually, I was noticed to be a natural with a gun, and in 1933, I was hand-picked for sniper training near Moscow. From 1934, I was stationed in the Far East, shot some Japanese and Manchukuo forces that crossed the border, mostly around lake Khasan. In early 1939, I was transferred to a sniper squad that operated within 255 Motorised Rifle Regiment, part of then Maj. General Popov's 57 Motor Rifle Division. I was second in command of the squad. The Division saw a lot of fighting in the war with Finland. When my Sergeant was killed in combat in the second battle of Vokthozero, I was promoted to take his place. After the war, I was decorated and given the option to go into the reserves. I refused and was transferred to the Guards Riflemen, where I received some additional training, before being promoted to Senior Sergeant and second in command of a Guards Rifle Platoon, part of 354th Guards Rifle Regiment. I filled that role until this morning.”

    “Not the briefest of curriculum vitae Sergeant, but quite informative and mostly relevant to the mission. Thank you for serving the people of the Soviet Union. Tell me about the others?”

    “Well, there are two winter war veterans. Yefreytor Gribkov, who fought in the Viipuri area, and Private Kopeykin, who fought in the short battle of Lammi. The remaining five are recent graduates from sniper training. Privates Yevtushenko, Kovalchuk, Davitashvilli, Shcherban from the Kyiv Military Academy, and Private Lobkovskaya from the Central Women's Sniper Training School.”

    “Yefreytor Gribkov, step forward and present your rifle.”

    “Mam, yes mam.”
    It was a Finnish-built Mosin-Nagant with a 1939-model Soviet scope, a rather interesting and somewhat unusual weapon. It wasn't spotless, but it was in decent working order. The man was somewhat taller than me, and of quite a thin build. As I handed back his weapon I said:

    “Thank you for your service in Viipuri, Yefreytor.”

    “Mam.”

    “Private Kopeykin, step forward.”

    “I think we're all familiar with the large-scale battles that took place in and around Viipuri. Briefly describe the battle of Lammi to me, from your point of view.”

    “Well, it wasn't much compared to Viipuri, we outnumbered the enemy almost 4-1. Mostly the regular Riflemen advanced too quickly for us snipers to get into position to help out. They were taking very few losses. Many Finnish soldiers were exhausted, and just ran at the sight of fresh riflemen. Starting after lunch, it took barely half a day, with some stragglers trying to ambush riflemen into the night. That's how I got my first kill, really, I was put on night patrol, and I saw something a short flicker of light coming from out in some shrubs, a reflection from one of the searchlights on something, metal, or glass. Well, I didn't exactly get the kill, I told my commander, and he radioed in for an artillery strike on that particular bit of shrubbery, just to be sure. In the morning we picked up the pieces of what used to be a Finnish infantryman. He must have been scouting or preparing a trap, or maybe he was hoping to be able to take out an officer or two. I will never know. For the rest that war was pretty boring, and cold. I already saw more action in this war than in the whole of the winter war, mam.”

    “Very well. Thank-you for your honesty private.”
    So, to summarize, I got a Senior Sergeant who has been in the Red Army for so long he should have been a Major by now, at least. Well, he does have a lot of combat experience, and he can maintain his rifle. He also has a big mouth, and illegible handwriting, these could be the reasons why he kept getting passed over for promotions. Then there are the two winter war veterans, but only one of them saw significant combat there. And to top it all off, there are my five newly trained recruits who definitely hadn't seen any combat yet. Lt. General Popov never said he would send me his best and brightest. I don't know what I expected. In retrospect, it makes sense not to send your best and brightest on a mission that is meant to attract enemy fire. I decided to ask one last question:

    “Who here has shot and killed an enemy soldier?”
    All but two hands went up.

    “At a range of over 200 meters?”
    Only private Kovalchuk and the three veterans still had their hand up.

    “At a range of over 500m?”
    Now only Sr. Sergeant Bondarchuk and Yefreytor Gribkov had their hands up. At this point, and before I could bring another word in, Bondarchuk interrupted me.

    “Captain. Permission to ask you a question, mam.”

    “I don't appreciate you interrupting me Sr. Sergeant. I don't know how this worked in your previous unit, but as long as I'm your captain, you will wait until spoken to during briefings. You will all get a chance to ask questions later.” - I was somewhat curious as to what he wanted to ask me, but I had to put him in his place. I paused for effect before launching into the mission details:

    “Welcome to St. Elizabeth's Church gentlemen, and lady. Until this morning, this was the centre of operations for this sector of the city. During this latest German attack, between 1 and 2am last night, the enemy attempted, and failed, to destroy the main tower with Heavy Anti-Aircraft Artillery. The question now is whether they will try again, or whether they will assume the centre of operations to have been moved. Our job is to make them try again. The centre of operations, run by Colonel Molchalin, has been moved to another location. Lt. General Popov wants the enemy to focus it's attention on this, mostly empty, building. We will convince them that the amount of snipers in the building has been increased, as snipers are what saved Colonel Molchalin, and his core staff, in extremis, last night.

    The enemy is not stupid, they know that pointing an 88mm FlaK gun straight at that tower has revealed their intentions, even if they didn't manage to get a shot off. This means we won't be conserving much ammunition. When, not if, the enemy attacks again, we will shoot at everything we can hit. Of course, self-preservation is our priority, so any threats to this building are our primary targets.

    I'm splitting you in three groups to cover all three towers. Sr. Sergeant Bondarchuk, you and Private Davitashvilli will take up firing positions in the North-Western tower." - Private Davitashvilli, despite his lack of combat experience, is a hulk of a man. He's significantly taller than me, and twice as wide, I'm actually surprised they trained him as a sniper and not as a heavy Machine-gunner or Mortarman.

    "Yefreytor Gribkov, you and Private Shcherban will take the South-Western tower.
    The rest will be under my direct supervision in the main tower.
    If you have a question, now would be the time to step forward.”

    StElizabethChurch-min.JPEG

    View of St. Elizabeth's South - South-West façade, note the main tower just to the north of the main body, and the South-Western tower on the left, hiding it's North-Western twin. Note also, the nice square surrounding the church. I have found no blueprints of the church, so anything about the layout of the church is conjecture from pictures, or pure invention.

    Three soldiers stepped forwards: The Senior Sergeant, who was having a hard time hiding his irritation; Yefreytor Gribkov, who seemed calm and unfazed by the mission ahead, and private Yevtushenko, who seemed to be blushing. I let Yefreytor Gribkov speak first, further infuriating the Senior Sergeant.

    “Captain. I assume there will be someone on duty in all three towers at all times. How do you envision the rotation, mam?”

    “Thank you Yefreytor, you assume correctly. We will work in two shifts. I want one pair of eyes in both of the western towers at all times, and two pairs in the main tower. For the two western towers, yourself and Sr. Sergeant Bondarchuk will take care of the details. Of course, in case of attack everyone is to be ready for action within minutes. You will stay close to the church, if not in it, even when off duty. We all live here now, you better get used to it.”

    “Mam, understood, Mam”

    “Senior Sergeant, you had a question.”

    “Several actually.”

    “Now is the time Bondarchuk, ask away.”

    “Captain, with all due respect. You've vetted us all on our qualifications and experience. I'd like to know what your qualifications are, Mam?”
    It wasn't just what he said, but also the hint of condescension in his voice that really annoyed me

    “I haven't been in the Army as long as you, if that's what you want to know. My history is none of your business, really, but, as I'm sure most of you are wondering the same thing, though the rest of you are too disciplined to ask such an impertinent question, I'll indulge you, and this is all I'm ever going to say on that subject. I transferred in from the 5th Directorate, where anything I did or did not do is way above your pay-grade. As private Lobkovskaya can probably affirm - although she wasn't in my platoon of cadets - I was, until recently, an instructor at the Central Women's Sniper Training School. Finally, I've been up in that tower since the First of July, and I can guarantee you I was there for more than sightseeing alone."
    Bondarchuk was, again, unimpressed with my response, and grumbled something under his breath.

    “Sr. Sergeant, if you have another question, don't mumble it into your beard, speak up.”

    “Mam, does this mean I am your second in command, in charge of the two western towers?”

    “It does not, you have authority only over the North-Western tower, Yefreytor Gribkov commands the South-Western tower, you both respond directly to me, and as such you are both second in command. If I were you, Senior Sergeant, I would work on that attitude of yours, it is unbecoming of a man of your rank and experience. I expect your full cooperation in this mission, there will be no second-guessing my orders. I will take suggestions, within reason, but I will not tolerate impertinence and insubordination. I will now take private Yevtushenko's question.”
    The Senior Sergeant struggled to hide his dismay at being placed on equal footing with a Yefreytor (Corporal). He was about to say something, but I interrupted him, addressing the hesitating private Yevtushenko directly:

    “Private. Your question?”

    “Yes mam … uh, Captain, … does this mean men will be sharing accommodations with women? I mean no disrespect, but wouldn't it be preferable to have the women sleep separately from the men. I don't think my wife would approve … “

    “Let me cut you off right there private. This isn't high school, it's the Red Army. The only thing that really matters here is the uniform you wear, the stripes on your shoulder, and your performance in battle. I do realise that female sub-units are usually housed separately from male units, but those regulations can be superseded by local requirements and availability of accommodation. Usually, Captains also get their own room. In this case none of that is practical, nor effective. As your commander, I will post you as I see fit, regardless of gender. You will all act like professionals while on duty. When not on duty, you will act like responsible adults and keep it in your trousers, you will not besmirch this unit's reputation or that of the Red Army Guards. If you do not treat your comrades in arms with the respect they deserve, I will find out, and you will be punished. That goes for all of you, regardless of rank and previous experience. And private, I do believe the defence of the Soviet Union supersedes your need for your wife's approval...”
    At this point the Northern side-entrance of the Church opened, and a Guards rifle Sergeant armed with a PPSh-41 submachine-gun entered the room, followed by a Junior Sergeant armed with an SVT-40.

    Both stood at attention and saluted immediately upon entering.

    “Over here gentlemen.”
    Both walked over to where I was standing and saluted again. I responded to their salute and they introduced themselves, the tall sergeant with the big moustache spoke first:

    “Captain Goleniewsky. Sergeant Bylinkin, 394th Guards Heavy Rifle Squad, reporting for duty Mam.”

    SergeantBylinkin-min.jpg

    Sergeant Bylinkin posing with his PPSh-41. Note the Moustache
    The shorter, slightly more rotund, but clean-shaven, Junior Sergeant was next:

    “Junior Sergeant Gorbunov, 142nd Guards Machine-Gun Squad, reporting for duty Captain.”

    “You're half an hour late, gentlemen, care to explain?”
    The Sergeant, jumped in:

    “Captain, mam. Both of our teams were previously located about 5 km to the east of this location. As I understand it, there was some discussion as to which squads would be sent on this particular mission. By the time we were given our orders, there was barely enough time to relocate on foot, let alone to gather our equipment. We were promised a pair of lorries as the relocation was categorised as 'urgent', but no lorries became available. We marched our men up here as quickly as possible. It is unprofessional and unbecoming of Guards riflemen to be late. Our apologies, mam.”

    “Understandable captain, apology accepted. So, what do you bring to this mission Sergeant, specifically the number of men, armament, and combat experience?”

    “My squad consists of two light Machine-Gunners with DP-27s, their two assistants armed with Mosin-Nagant Carabines, and 4 Riflemen with SVT-40's. The entire squad fought in anti-partisan operations in Finland. A solid unit, if I say so myself Captain.”

    DP-27Guards-min.jpg

    Guards riflemen posing with their DP-27 Light Machine Guns. The large round ammunition drums give these weapons their distinctive look. These weapons were cheap to make and remarkably effective, in theory, each rifle squad had one, and some squads had two. It offers a fire rate of 500-600 rpm, combined with an excellent firing range and decent accuracy. The only real downside is the fact that it's not belt-fed, meaning that it's continuous firing rate is significantly lower than that of foreign weapons of similar size and functionality, like the MG-34, for example.

    “Excellent, and your unit Junior Sergeant?”

    “A Machine-Gunner with a brand new 7.62mm SG-43 machine-gun, three ammunition bearers / assistants armed with Mosin-Nagant Carabines, and myself with my SVT-40. When we switched from the Maxim to the much lighter SG-43, our horse and horse-driver were reassigned. Myself and the Machine-Gunner fought in the War in Finland, in the Viipuri area, two of the ammunition bearers were with us in the later anti-partisan operations, and the third assistant is a rookie who just graduated 3rd of his class in the Military Academy in Kyiv. The men are all waiting outside, Captain.”
    I dismissed the snipers, who were still waiting, before turning to the Sergeant and Junior Sergeant:

    “Gentlemen, walk with me.”
    As we walked to the Northern side-entrance, I explained what I expected from the forces on the ground around the Church. Their job being, mainly, to look more numerous than they are, and to set up the Machine-Guns defensively, using the trenches dug by the Guards Rifle company that protected the base of the Church until this morning. I put Sergeant Bylinkin in overall charge of this part of the operation, making him more of a second in command than Senior Sergeant Bondarchuk. I'm sure the latter was thrilled by that fact. The two squads seem more solid than the odd bunch of Snipers I'd been given. At least I won't have to worry too much about attackers coming from the ground floor. I gave a rousing speech to the men outside, and discussed the positioning of the men on the perimeter in more detail.

    I was about to go inside to check on the preparations the snipers were making, when the two radio operators arrived, on foot, merrily chatting away, as they strolled towards the church at a leisurely pace. I let Sergeant Bylikin give them an earful that made them sprint towards me, stand at attention, salute, and look at me with the same look toddlers give their mother when they get caught with their hand in the cookie-jar. They were both armed with a Mosin-Nagant Carabine, and carried a standard issue A-7 portable VHF radio transciever.

    vhf_radio_unit_A7A-min.jpg

    The A7-A portable very high frequency radio transceiver, produced in large numbers starting in late 1942, and widely distributed throughout the Red Army from that point on. It was used mainly for communication within Rifle Regiments and Artillery Regiments. It could also be plugged into a telephone line, function as a two-way radio, as a telephone, and convert a telephone signal into a radio signal and vice-versa if needed. Instead of using amplitude modulation, like it's widely used predecessor, the A-4, it uses frequency modulation, which eliminates a lot of noise on the signal.


    “Privates, is there any particular reason why you are late.”

    “Captain, it's this city, it's just so pretty to walk through. We've never been here before, you know. Look at this church right here, I've never seen anything like that before, mam.”

    You could hear the excitement in their voice.

    “You're going to see a lot more of it before this is over, you live here now. Your first order of business is to set up communications, When the attack comes, I'm going to be sitting in that big tower right there. I want one of you up there with me, and I want the other one down here, right next to Sergeant Bylikin. You will set up direct communications between the two of you, between my tower and Major Panov's HQ, and between my tower and city hall. After dinner, everyone of the day shift will bring you their boots, and you will polish them. If anyone's boots aren't shiny like a mirror come tomorrow morning, I'm holding you two personally responsible. Maybe that will teach you to walk faster. This is a war, not a package holiday funded by the people of the Soviet Union. Dismissed.”

    “Mam yes mam.”
    They gave me a sad, almost melancholic look as they rushed off to position and tune their radio sets. Both of them looked more like boys than men. I have no idea where Lt. General Popov's staff found them, but they are the youngest military radio operators I've ever seen. It's quite likely that they both lied about their age to get into the Red Army. As long as they know what they're doing with those radio sets, I won't make trouble for them. I'm not a big fan of the whole decorum part of the Red Army, sure I like to, occasionally, put some effort into my appearance, but having people constantly shining boots seems like a waste of time when they could be learning skills that are actually useful in combat. But, that said, it's a useful tool to assert one's authority, and to punish those that may be a bit too nonchalant about their job some discipline.​

    Commanding this varied group of people, well officially it's an independent platoon, is going to be a handful. Let's hope things stay quiet for a few days, so I can run them all through their paces, and get them to bond a little, but not too much either, of course.​

    As I was pondering all this, I noticed a lone figure walking towards the church along Horodotska street, I couldn't tell who it was immediately, but as he got closer, I noticed it was my best friend, Starshina of Aviation Sergei Kharkov. As soon as he saw me standing there, he started jogging towards me. As he got close, Sergeant Bylikin yelled, mindful of the possibility of enemy spies checking out the church to figure out if there was still something important in there:

    “Halt! who goes there!”

    “Starshina of Aviation Kharkov, aeroplane engine mechanic with I. ShAK. I'm here for Captain Irina Goleniewsky.”

    “You know him” (to me)

    “Yes. Stand down sergeant. Let him through.”
    He walked up to me, and after the military formalities, I led him to a bench in the square, just to the South of the church, telling the Sergeant.

    “I'll be right there if anyone needs me.”
    We sat down, and it was a mess. Sergei started to apologise for walking off and getting too angry at my choices, I started to apologise for the pain I was causing him by taking those huge risks. I'm really bad with emotional moments like these, so we just shared a hug. I started crying, he started crying. After a short while, we collected ourselves and talked about our day: I talked about the motley bunch of snipers I was assigned, and the radio operators that were barely out of their diapers. He talked about fixing very broken aeroplanes, and the stories aircrew had told him upon returning from their missions.

    While we were on the subject of fixing broken things, he pulled out an ignition timing regulator from his toolbox, which he had brought with him, something I only noticed at that point. My recently allocated motorcycle was standing right up against the wall of the church. Working together, mostly in silence, ignoring the onlooking riflemen, we spent a good twenty minutes taking off bits of the motorcycle to get to the ignition timing regulator, another 15 minutes replacing it and making precise adjustments. After another 20 minutes putting everything back in place and checking all the fluid levels, Sergei started the PMZ-A-750 on the first try. Really an incredible achievement, considering how much of a piece of junk it was. Of course the engine's vibrations were shaking the ground beneath our feet, especially at idle. One problem at a time... We talked a bit more. About our plans for my car, which was safely hidden away in Kyiv, and about the way the Great Patriotic War is progressing as a whole. In the end, he had to get back to the Air Base. Having given explicit orders to all those under my command that no one was to leave the area of the church until further notice, I couldn't very well drive him back. As I wasn't going anywhere anytime soon, I gave Sergei the keys to the PMZ, he laughed suggesting it was a poisoned gift, before riding off at 7:30pm.

    I made my rounds, and after giving the rookies in the main tower a few extra pointers, everything seems in order, all the firing positions are properly set-up, everyone knows when they are on duty and when they're not. We'll be having dinner soon, in two shifts of course, and tomorrow I will run drills to test the readiness of my independent (half-)platoon. I'm also going to demand from corps HQ that we get a combat medic. As the unit isn't part of a company, we don't have the standard 5 medics at company level, so any wounded would have to be transported to city hall for medical treatment, or we'd have to count on medics from surrounding units, who are bound to be occupied with their own wounded when it hits the fan. Hardly ideal.

    I hope everything is well with you and the other members of the Committee, despite your huge workload. I hope you do get some rest once in a while.

    Wish me luck, because I'm going to need it,

    Capt. Irina Alexandrovich Goleniewsky (aka. 11)
     
    Last edited:
    18th of July 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #202
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    The 18th of July 1942, Vologda, 8,3°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

    Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 9th and the 18th of July 1942,

    by 'Odin'

    Army:
    The Red Army is now widely considered to be a Veteran Army, with more than 250 battles over the last few years.
    Once all the T-34s, SU-100s, and other vehicles were delivered, 15 Tankovaya Diviziya was deployed to Lt. General Bogdanov's III TK, 2ya Tank Armiya, Arm AG, STAVKA.
    5 new Artillery Regiments, 140 AP, 143 AP, 144 AP, 145 AP, and 146 AP, have been deployed, to 141 SD, 176 SD, 143 SD, 25 SD, and 51 SD respectively. All are stationed on, or close to, the Hungarian border.

    Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
    Front line troops: 692 / 2.076.000
    Support troops: 368 / 368.000
    Total fighting troops: 1.060 / 2.444.000
    Headquarters: 64 / 64.000
    Total Army Personnel: 1.124 / 2.508.000
    Officers: 104.893 - / 111.700 needed / 833 KIA / 93,906 % -
    Active Leaders: 282 / 2 POW / 214 more available
    To reinforce the new VIII SK (2) HQ, an Infx2, AT unit started training, while their 100mm PrP guns are produced.
    After the loss of 3 VDD, 2 new Paratroooper Regiments have started training.
    To quickly replace lost units, 52. Diviziya Opolcheniya (Garx3) has started training.18. Garnizon Diviziya has also started training to replace Garrison units that were redeployed forward to Bornholm, and Mythiléné.
    Artillery production continues, with two new Artillery Regiments, and one support Brigade (Art, AT) for 52. DOp (see above
    )​
    Army Leadership:
    Maj. Generals Kachalov (37 SD), and Potapov (52 SD), have been taken prisoner by German and Slovak forces along with their units. Their whereabouts are unknown.
    Maj. General Rodmitsev, SK2, Cdo has found himself without a unit after his entire Division, 3 VDD, shattered and surrendered en masse in Slagelse. He has found refuge in Maj. General Briukov's 2 VDD HQ. The incident is under investigation.
    New Maj. General Cherniakhovskij, SK3 has been given command of the newly deployed 15 TD, III TK, 2ya Tank Armiya, Arm AG, STAVKA.
    Air Force
    :
    81 newly delivered Tupolev TB-3 Heavy Bombers have been formed into 2. DBAD and deployed to now Av. Lt. General Kalinin's I. DBAK, based out of Homel.
    Aeroplane Numbers (Wings/Planes):
    Interceptors: 28 / 3.472
    Multi-Role Fighters: 10 / 1.240
    Close Air Support: 11 / 1.364
    Carrier Air Groups: 8 / 496
    Single Engined: 57 / 6.572
    Tactical Bomber: 4 / 400
    Strategic Bombers: 2 / 162
    Total Bombers: 17 / 1.926
    Transport Planes: 3 / 372
    Total VVS: 58 / 7.010
    Total Navy: 8 / 496
    Total Aeroplanes: 66 / 7.512
    Active Leaders: 23 / 27 Reserve
    The production line has been repurposed for the production on another wing of Lisunov Li-2 Transport aeroplanes. This variant has larger fuel tanks, extending it's operating range to 575 km.
    No changes to VVS nor Navy Air Fleet leadership.​

    Navy
    :
    No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.​

    Politics / International:
    Sweden stopped aligning to the Axis. Our diplomats are now unimpeded in their efforts to bring the country into the Comintern.
    Battle of Britain
    The Air War shows no signs of slowing down.
    25 aerial battles were fought over Portsmouth, with no bombers getting through. In Dover, the Luftwaffe had more luck, flying 7 successful port strikes, being intercepted by the RAF 7 times as well, but only after the bombs were dropped.
    In Germany, Leipzig was bombed 11 times, with German fighters intercepting the bombers on the way there, and on the way back, over Dortmund.
    Other aerial fights happened over Northern France, with 21 battles over Lannion, 100km east of Brest, 7 battles over Cherbourg, and 7 battles over Paris.
    German submarines went right up to Newcastle to strike American and British Lend-Lease convoys, sinking 18 vessels. Another 57 were sunk in the Atlantic (75 in total). British submarines and surface units sunk a total of 191 Axis freighters, of which 40 were sunk less than 150 km off the Norwegian coast. German trade still continues.
    Yugoslavia
    YSF42-07-18-min.jpeg

    A Yugoslav uprising has started in the Dubrovnik area, there are some rumours that the partisans have received British weapons, possibly from caches in Athina.
    Athens - Greece
    GRF42-07-18-min.jpeg

    Our Black Sees Fleet sailed past British-held Athina during it's patrol of the Aegean Sea, spotting the addition of a HQ unit to the Motorised Division already in place. An Italian Light Tank Division was spotted to the south of the city, in Nafplio, but no attacks seem to have taken place yet. It seems the British aren't the only ones with their mobile Divisions in the wrong place...
    North Africa Front:
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,3
    Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,2
    BNAF42-07-18-min.jpeg

    The British army is on the move again, managing to envelop Tobruch by taking Bardia on the coast, and advancing all the way to El Adem further inland. Our analysts suspect the Italians are experiencing local supply shortages, rendering their superior numbers and armoured vehicles, useless, at least for the time being.
    With a Royal Navy parked a Carrier just off-shore, bombing missions on Bardia continued. Additionally, Wellington Mk.IIIs based in El Iskandarîya contributed by bombing El Adem, and later Tobruch. A total of 65 bombing raids took place, with no significant response from the Regia Aeronautica.
    The fleet in question also managed to sink a convoy bound for Tobruch.
    9 Italian Freighters were sunk by the Royal Navy, of which 8 were sunk off the coast of Tobruch. This pales in comparison to British convoy losses around Madeira. Axis submarines, presumably Italian ones, based out of Italian-held ports on the Atlantic coast of Morocco have wreaked havoc in the area, sinking 55 British merchant vessels.
    The RN Coastal Naval Command executed a total of 29 unopposed Port Strikes on Tunis Harbour. 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 stubbornly continued it's attempts at bombing Firenze, with little success, as half their Halifaxes based on Malta were lost without having managed to drop a single bomb on 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

    Japanese forces continued their advances on both Sumatra and Java, taking Palembang and crossing the Musi river on the former, and grabbing a single province on the latter, without crossing the Ciliwung river. The Dutch government in exile was forced to relocate to the rubber plantation of Semarang. This finally allows them to start sending supplies to their own troops on other islands through the port of Soerabaja.
    SEAF42-07-18_2-min.jpeg

    A new IJN landing on the Eastern coast of Borneo, right on the border between British-held and Dutch-held areas. As of yet, the Japanese haven't managed to take a port on this particular island. That said, Tarakan, directly to the south of the landing area seems to be weakly held. The imperial Marines do have to cross the Kayan river delta to get there, but with their specialist training and extensive IJN Air Support (35 bombing raids on Tarakan) it doesn't look like that will be enough. Unless the Dutch troops can hold them back until they run out of supplies.
    Despite a few naval skirmishes, no naval units were sunk on either side. Convoy Raiding continued at an almost unbelievable rate, with 108 Japanese freighters adorning the seabed, and a whopping 391 Allied merchant vessels sent to the bottom. That's not the whole story as Japanese convoys seem to be particularly well defended. 54 Allied raids came under fire from escorting surface units, significantly reducing the damage that could be done, in return Japanese convoy raiding fleets only came under fire a mere 4 times.
    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.
    57 Axis convoys were sunk by the USN off the Pacific coast of North America, and another 18 to the south of Cuba.

    Industry:
    Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 235 (-3) / 428 (-6) The Germans have taken Mariampolè (1 IC), and the Hungarians Stanislawow (2 IC).
    18 Infrastructure improvement projects have been completed, and another 18 started. (see electrification update)

    IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
    Upgrades: 135,90 / 146,02 - Upgrade requirements continue to go down, while expenditure continues to go up.
    Reinforcement: 23,90 / 23,90 - The need for reinforcements varies wildly but remains over 20 IC.
    Supplies: 57,50 / 56,49 - with the loss of several units, and increasing stockpiles, supply production was reduced somewhat.
    Production: 185,02 / 193,11 - Further reductions in production and training for new units allows for an increase in spending on new equipment to Upgrade existing units.
    Consumer Goods: 25,68 / 25,68 - With the loss of some territory and industry, the population's minimal requirements for civilian goods can be met with slightly less investment.
    Stockpiles:
    Energy: Maximum tonnes +
    Metal: 99.117 tonnes -
    Rares: 48.652 tonnes +
    Crude: 98.410 cubic metres +
    Supplies: 32.133 tonnes -
    Fuel: 96.382 barrels -
    Money: 1.350 +​
    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 / 2 }
    { UK (/) : 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​
    Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
    Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 2
    Reserves: 5
    Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,38 (a new spy every 17 days)
    Another 2 Japanese Spies was caught red-handed in the Soviet Union. They claimed, of course, to be innocent tourists.
    Spy training expenditure was increased again thanks to our Army's Veteran status.

    Research:
    A series of significantly improved variants of the V-2 Diesel Medium Tank Engine (Level 4) are ready for production, with the most powerful variants producing up to 600 hp.
    Our tank designers now turn their attention to designing a more powerful Medium Tank Gun (Level 4).
    Industrial Efficiency (Level 7) has reached unseen levels, thanks to the optimisation of production lines and better training for factory-workers.
    Improvements of Supply Production (Level 7) are next on the list.

    Leadership distribution:
    Research: 19,50 =
    Espionage: 0,38 (+0,21)
    Diplomacy: 2,09 =
    Officers: 12,00 (+0,5) (72 Officers/day) Another increase in Officer training has come thanks to the Veteran status of the Red Army)
    Total: 33,97 (+0,71) Loss of Mariampolè, loss of Stanislawow, Veteran Army.

    Statistics:
    National Unity: 83,241 =
    Neutrality: 0,00 =
    Dissent: 0,00 =
    Manpower:
    Available: 2.231.000 (-20.000) Training several Garrison Divisions uses up manpower, and losses from the war are higher than the previous 10-day period.
    Men To reinforce(need): 10.500
    Men To mobilise(need): See above
    Monthly gain: 70.400 Men (1 fully mobilised Infx3, Art, AT Division every 5,4 days)​
    No changes in Party Popularity nor Party Organisation​

    This Information is accurate on the morning of the 18th of July 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

    'Odin'​
     
    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'​