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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
1st of August 1942: Helsingör: Lend-Lease and Coastal Fortification.
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    The 1st of August 1942, Helsingör, 13,9°C, 4 pm Moscow Time

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

    Copenhagen_Airport-min.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

    GuessWhereIIConsolidatedC-87-min.jpg

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

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

    BMW326cabrio-min.jpg

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

    'Devyat' motioned to the BMW:

    “Let's get going.”​

    Korsor1909_-min.jpg

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

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

    BunkerWestwallStandard-min.jpg

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

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

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

    CopenhagenCentralStation52-min.jpg

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

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

    Kronborg_Helsingör-min.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    LendLease-min.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    LLGuns_42-08-01-min.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    'Piat' looked conflicted:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Production42-08-01-min.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    SPART (M12): 6,21 / 111 days​

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

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

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

    'Odin'​
     
    1st of August 1942, 'Odin': GPW 10-day Report #4
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    1st of August 1942, Helsingör, 13,9°C, 6pm Moscow Time

    Report on the Great Patriotic War between 6pm on the 22nd of July and 6pm on the 1st of August 1942.

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

    The 27th of July 1942, 1am Moscow Time, 6,5°C

    Yesterday, our Breakfast was a bit lighter than usual. The city hadn't gotten any new supplies in days. It seemed priority was given to supplying our troops in Jaworow in the hope to hang on to the recently recovered province. Sergeant Bylinkin notified me that the central ammunition stores were dangerously low, and that we would have to make do with the ammunition we had in case we came under attack. At 8am, almost as if they could smell our lack of ammunition, the German 11 PzD attacked from Przemysl. After the fiasco with the flame-throwers and the Hungarians, they had changed their approach. The first shots sounded on Horodotska street, more precisely at the bridge across the railway branch connecting Lwow Central Station with Lwow-Persenkowka Station. A smaller secondary attack around the bridge at Liubinska street started fifteen minutes later. Both attacks were supported by FlaK-88s and PaK-43s, with the Panzers staying out of sight for the moment. The enemy infantry was moving slowly and carefully across both bridges, they probably didn't know our situation. To make matters worse, the amount of troops in the city was cut in half in the previous days, with only Popov's XXIX GvSK and 10 TTGvD remaining. The order came in from Lt. General Popov's HQ to conserve ammunition and attempt to slow down the enemy movements rather than stopping them. Shoot to kill only. We all needed to buy time until we could get more ammunition. The attention of the FlaK-88s was soon diverted by our own bombing raids on both bridges. With only few bombs available, the effect wasn't as hoped, and despite a few holes, none of the bridges was sufficiently damaged to have much impact on German military vehicles. By 10am, German vehicles started crossing the bridge, a few were knocked out by our Artillery and Il-10's, but the vehicles and tanks kept coming as our stockpiles of 100mm, 122mm and 152mm rounds were quickly dwindling. Shelling was halted, at least on our side.

    Our guards riflemen were using the city as cover to fight small groups of Germans at very short distances, making every bullet and grenade count, before quickly retreating before the German big guns started to hit their position and the Panzers could be brought to bear. A real game of cat and mouse. Our snipers were only taking shots at relatively short ranges, below 400m for stationary targets, and below 250m for moving targets. The Germans were definitely losing more men than we were, but we were losing ground, and didn't have the ammunition to take it back. My whole sniper team was anxious, Germans were closing in, and I had ordered them not to do anything about it until they got too close for comfort. No 1km trick shots, no massed fire, one shot, one kill, that's what was expected of us. Doing the highest possible amount of damage with the rounds we had was the name of the game.

    At 1pm, with Germans about 700m away from the Church, the Horodotska Street Bridge exploded. It seems our engineers had gathered enough explosives to blow the bridge sky-high. They had managed to place them and trigger them without getting shot. A brave operation, further delaying the German advance, at least along Horodotska Street. A 4pm, we could finally start shooting stationary targets at a range where it was hard for a well-trained marksman to miss. By nightfall, we had expended more than half of our limited ammunition supply, wounding or killing over 60 enemy combattants. I decided against ordering our Rifle squad and Machine-Gun squad downstairs to hand over some of their ammunition. If this situation continued, they would need their ammunition to secure our position, or in the worst case, our retreat.

    The night brought some calm, as the Germans halted their advance, probably consolidating their new front line, less than 100m from the church at the closest point. Only three of us remained on night watch high above the streets outside. Myself, Sr. Sergeant Bondarchuk, and Yefreitor Gribkov, one in each tower. With 60 rounds left between the three of us, there wasn't much point in keeping up anyone else. The most experienced marksmen would hold the fort, while the rest got some much-needed sleep, especially those who had been on night watch the previous night. Shortly before midnight, my radio operator, who had been sleeping next to his radio set, came to me with sleepy eyes and his radio set in hand. He handed me the reciever:

    "Mam, Lt. General Popov on the radio, it's for you."

    "Thank you private. Keep watch while I take this."
    Private Neyizhkaha turned to peer at all the places we knew the Germans were, or at least had been before darkness fell. It was a moonless night, and half of our floodlights were out, having been captured, or put out of action by German snipers and/or Artillery. There was some movement on the German side, but we had no idea what they were doing exactly.

    "Lt. General, to what do I owe the pleasure."

    "Captain. I've been talking on the Radio with my immediate superior, General Sokolovskij, since things calmed down, and I've been ordered to leave Lwow, and relocate North, to Krasne. My HQ is using up supplies that could be used on the front, and 10 TTGvD should be enough to push a single German Panzer-Division back out of the city with the fresh supplies that have started to arrive. There should be enough to replenish 10 TTGvD's stockpiles, but not enough for both it and My HQ unit. We'll be gone by 2am. I'm re-assigning you and your unit to 10 TTGvD, you will now report directly to Maj. General Novikov N.A.'s HQ. The German front line being so close to your location, and with my own unit redeploying away from the front, I've decided to, somewhat belatedly, fulfil your request for a medic. Sr. Sergeant Yelena Mikhaylova is one of the best medical instructor under my command, she should be reporting to you before 1am. Good luck Captain. You're going to need it, now more than ever."

    "Thank you Lt. General, it was an honour."

    "The honour was all mine. Dismissed Captain."
    By 0:30am, the city was abuzz with frantic activity. Lots of lorries, motorcycles, and horse-drawn carts were moving around in the dark. Supplies had arrived and now the race was on to resupply all of 10 TTGvD before dawn. Maj. General's quartermaster contacted us over the radio to know if we needed more supplies, and by 2:45am a GAZ-MM lorry halted outside the church. As Bylinkin's men brought a box of high grade 7.62 rounds up into the tower, they were followed by a combat medic. Due to the commotion, everyone in the tower woke up. Our assigned medic was a rather short woman in her late '20s with a kind face. She saluted and introduced herself:

    SrSergeantMedic-min.jpg

    Sr. Sergeant Yelena Mikhaylova, Red Army Guards Medical instructor. Within a regular company, there is a medical section counting a Sr. Sergeant or Sergeant and 4 Medics (Private). In Capt. Goloniewsky's Platoon, she's on her own.

    "Captain, Sr. Sergeant Medic Mikhaylova, reporting for duty, Mam."

    "Welcome to St. Elizabeth Church, Sr. Sergeant. You're just in time for the show. At dawn, all hell will break loose out there. Germans have been digging in and moving vehicles all night. Who knows what they brought into the city under the cover of darkness. The front line is less than 100m that way. That's the closest they've ever gotten to this place, we're in their way now. Whichever way they go now, they will be exposed to our sniper fire. Of course, what they don't know is that 10 TTGvD has been fully resupplied overnight. I'm sure Maj. General Novikov N.A. has a nasty plan to push them back out of the city come morning. We only have you to rely on for emergency medical care in case things go wrong, be it a little, or a lot. I would like to suggest you set yourself up near the base of the main tower. That way you're at little risk of taking a stray bullet, or some shrapnell from a shell."

    "Mam, that makes sense, I will get my affairs set up right now, Mam."

    "Sr. Sergeant, any suggestions concerning our general health? It would be helpful for us to be in the best possible shape for the battle tomorrow."

    "Mam, if I may be so blunt, I recommend for you to get some sleep while you can, Captain."
    Having spent some of the previous nights with Sergei, I was getting quite sleep-deprived. Add in the stress of the battle, and I wasn't anywhere close to what you'd call well-rested.

    "Private Lobovskaya, you're on watch. You will wake me at 5:30am tomorrow, or if the Germans start shooting, whichever occurs first."
    I don't know what tomorrow will bring, it will likely be hairy, at least for a while. Just in case something goes wrong, or I loose contact in the confusion, I'm sending off this letter before I go to sleep,

    Let's put these krauts in the ground,

    Capt. Irina Alexandrovich Goleniewsky (aka. 11)
    This is the last letter we got from our woman in Lwow. I may have to go there to investigate what happened since, and where she has gone.
    Arctic Front (XXXIV GSK / 1st AG / Leningrad HQ):

    Snowstorms have slowed down the movements of our mountaineers, and only 2 more empty provinces have fallen under our control. Instead of looking at the map of the slow inexorable march of our Mountaineers through the Arctic part of Norway. Let's look at the next potential target for our troops in the Far North. Narvik.

    Narvik42-08-01_1800-min.jpg

    Some interesting intelligence was gathered by V Flot Podlodok, as it passed Narvik. It looks like a small-scale operation to take the city from the sea isn't on the cards. Not with such a high concentration of German units, including King Tigers. Also of note is the Norwegian Navy, which is parked off the coast with no-where to go. A landing in Tromso could easily be supplied by air. It could be a diversion to draw German troops out of Narvik itself. The terrain North of Narvik suits our Mountaineers who should be able to hold off the Panzers in the mountains. Of course, the safest option is to not do anything, keeping the Mountain Rifles in reserve for policing duties, and in the unlikely case that the Swedes stir up trouble. Of course, eventually we can connect the Tromso area with the Finnish road network, but that will take time. Building a port in Tromso also seems like a waste of resources because it would need to be cleared of Ice for a large part of the year to function. The same issues we already have in Murmansk.​

    Finland (NKGBF / Leningrad HQ):

    At 3am on the 23rd, 8 Finnish Partisan units revolted, taking control of small areas of land in the Finnish hinterland. The NKGBF is on the case, with it's Mounted Brigades riding to deal with those foreign agents, fascist agitators, and their converts.

    The first unit on the scene was 3 NKGBFKB. The plan was for the mounted state security force to root out Partisans in Nurmes (2). However, the 2nd Finnish Partisans had other ideas, and attacked them in Juuka (1) instead, at 10am on the 25th of July. The result was a confused mess where both sides charged into each-others staging province, until our Mounted security forces gained the initiative and pushed them all back into Nurmes (2), ending the skirmishes in Juuka (1). Of course, ex-Finnish Army Generals were found to be in command of newly set up rebel HQ's. Resistance in Nurmes (2) ceased at 3pm.

    FPF42-08-01-min.jpg

    The NKGBF is slow to move towards the more remote areas of the Finland SSR. In some areas, mud is slowing down the horses of the mounted brigades, further compounding the travel times. Temporary reinforcements would really help to contain the spread of the insurgency. Some voices in the Red Army have suggested sending in the VDV, as they could be dropped right on top of the slippery insurgents, and fighting a badly-armed foe with inferior numbers would still be good training. As the battle of Slagelse showed, our Paratroopers could really use some more training, preferably without the risk of one of the remaining Divisions shattering and surrendering. Unless someone can come up with a better immediate use for the VDV, they will be brought in as soon as they have fully recovered from the 2nd battle of Copenhagen.

    1. Juuka (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    25 Jul 42 10:00
    SU: 3 NKGBFKB (Cavx2 - Maligin, L1)
    5.998 men /
    1 KIA
    Fin (Nurmes): 2 FinPar (Mil -)
    2.999 men / 15 KIA
    2. Nurmes (Attack - Forest - Victory)
    25 Jul 42 11:00 - 15:00
    SU (Juuka): 3 NKGBFKB (Cavx2 - Maligin, L1, OD)
    5.997 men / 1 KIA
    Fin: 2 Corps (HQ - Heinrichs, L3), 2 FinPar (Mil)
    3.089 men / 18 KIA / 3.121 POW
    Anti-Partisan Operations (including the previous anti-partisan operation)

    NKGBF: 109.951 (+11.995) / 68 KIA (+2) (ground)
    Fin: 40.375 (+6.088) / 391 KIA (+33 / ground) / 25.857 POW (+3.121)
    Baltic Sea (XXXIII SK / VDV / RBBF / Leningrad HQ):

    Finally, at 10pm on the 23rd of July, Copenhagen (1) fell. Disappointingly, the veteran 13 Infanterie-Division that had made the operation so difficult managed to slip away into Sweden. With transit rights still in effect, it can only really go to Norway, which is probably where it came from. At 11pm, troops from 111 SD took possession of the city. A welcome surprise was that not only the Harbour installations, but also the massive Air Base cum Airport, and the many factories in the city, were fully operational. It still wasn't over though, trapped in a corner, 135. Sicherungs-Division was desperately trying to fight it's way out. The Garrison forces are severely disadvantaged as they lack any training or equipment to help them attack across the straight into Copenhagen (2).

    The Garrison troops could take no more, and at 11pm on the 25th, they stopped their desperate strait-crossing attacks. Casualties were below 30 on our side, and over 900 on theirs.

    At 3am, on the morning of the 26th of July, elements of the recently arrived 124 SD crossed the strait unopposed to accept the surrender of 325 Sicherungs-Division in Guldborgsund. Three hours later, it was all over. All axis forces had been evicted from Copenhagen and it's vicinity.

    The 1st of August saw a cross-strait attack on Slagelse (3) by an Italian Infantry Division that had just arrived in Odense. It wasn't really much of a battle, the first two small boats with Italian Infantry started to cross the strait, and our riflemen opened fire, killing most of the occupants of the first two boats. A third boat wisely returned to the opposite coast, but was still taken out by a well-aimed Mortar shell. All that remained were 22 Italian corpses, floating in the bay.

    Baltic42-08-01-min.jpg

    The Öresund is open to our shipping. Guarded by our newly gained Naval Base and Air Base in Copenhagen, we should be able to protect the impending Lend-Lease convoys from the USA. Our Red Banner Baltic Fleet is now free to move into the Atlantic, opening up the possibility of future landings in Norway, or even on the German Atlantic Coast. V. IAK has been brought in to provide Air Cover to our naval operations, as well as to our troops in the area. Another benefit is the fact that Germany has lost it's land connection to Norway, through Sweden, so whatever troops they have there can only be evacuated by sea.

    1. Copenhagen (Attack - Urban - Victory)
    21 Jul 42 01:00 - 23 Jul 42 22:00
    SU (Öresund / RBBF - Amphibious Invasion): 111 SD /1 (Infx2 - Komarovskij, L2, Eng) (Slagelse): 2 VDD (Parx3), 1 VDD (Parx3)
    23.995 men /
    594 KIA
    Ger: 13 ID (Infx3 - Buchs, L3)
    7.885 men /
    222 KIA​
    2. Copenhagen 2 (Defence - Urban - Victory)
    24 Jul 42 00:00 - 25 Jul 42 23:00
    SU: 111 SD /1 (Infx2 - Komarovskij, L2), 111 SD /2 (Inf, Art, AT), 124 SD (Art, AT)
    21.795 men /
    29 KIA
    Ger (Guldborgsund): 325 SD (Garx2, AA - Lemelsen, L2, BM)
    6.998 men /
    953 KIA / 6.045 POW​
    3. Slagelse 2 (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    01 Aug 42 06:00
    SU: 124 SD (Art, AT - Simoniak, L2, Trk), 123 SD (Art, AT)
    21.990 men /
    0 KIA
    Ita (Odense - Strait Crossing): 32a DF (Infx2 - Calcagno, L2)
    5.998 men /
    22 KIA​

    Air Battles (Baltic):

    3. Southern Baltic (Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    26 Jul 42 14:00 - 18:00
    VMF: 2 KPA - CAG - 28 La-7VM, 28 Il-10VM - 84 airmen - Leningrad (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
    8 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 96 airmen - Moskva (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Knriukni, L2
    120 planes / 180 airmen /
    2 downed / 3 KIA
    Luftwaffe: Seeaufklärungsgruppe A - Nav - 25 Ju-290A-5 - 225 airmen - ? - Oberst Ritter, L3, FD
    25 planes / 225 airmen /
    5 downed / 45 KIA​

    5. Copenhagen (Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    26 Jul 42 22:00 - 27 Jul 01:00
    VMF: 8 KPA - CAG - 32 La-7VM, 32 Il-10VM - 96 airmen - Moskva (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Knriukni, L2
    2 KPA - CAG - 27 La-7VM, 27 Il-10VM - 81 airmen - Leningrad (Pommeranian Coast) - Air Capt 1C Falaleev, L4
    VVS: V IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Skripko, L4
    614 planes / 673 airmen /
    15 downed / 22 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 77, JG 71, JG 52 - Intx3 - 328 Me-109G - 328 airmen - ? - Genlt. von Greim, L4, SAT
    328 planes / 328 airmen /
    28 downed / 28 KIA​
    Northern German Front (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):


    Jurbarkas-min.jpeg

    Jurbarkas, before the war. A small town along the Memel river, it was once again the location of heavy fighting as 2 AG moved riflemen into the area, only for them to come under attack from fresh German Infantry.
    1am on the 23rd saw a two-pronged attack on Lida (8), featuring an Armoured Cavalry Division and a Motorised Rifle Division, both part of 2ya Tankovaya Armiya. News from Jurbarkas (1) at 5am put a damper on the newfound optimism as the province was finally vacated by our troops, leaving behind over 1.800 of their comrades, and having killed a mere 500 in return. It was a desperate 2-day defensive action against overwhelming numerical superiority. 2nd Army Group bought itself time, with blood. A well-rested 76 GvSD managed to slip into Domonovo (6) at 5pm, just in time to protect 5 retreating disorganised Divisions from the wrath of a pursuing Hungarian Infantry Division. Too bad for the Hungarians.

    After a full three days of fighting, the men of 1 Pesi Divize had had enough. The Slovak advance into Valdemarpils (2) was halted at 9am on the 24th, at the cost of 330 Soviet, and over 900 Slovak lives. An hour later, 102 SD managed to cut off the retreat of 79 ID. This lead to the simultaneous start of 2 battles. The battle of Joniskis, (5) and that of Pasvalis (3), the former was a breakout attempt by 79 ID, assisted by 16 PzGD from the outside, the latter a 4-pronged Red Army attack to break the encircled Division once and for all. The race was on. All that was only the start of a fresh flurry of Wehrmacht activity, another attack on Kaunas (7), and an attack on Panevezys (4) went in at 11am, the former looked especially shaky, with only a single Division left in the city. The remaining 6.520 men of 79 ID surrendered at 8pm, ending the third battle of Pasvalis (3) in our favour, they had lost another 10% of their number in their final battle, with a mere 50 Soviet casualties to show for it. The spoiling attack on Panevezys (4) was halted by the Wehrmacht at the same time with casualties 4-1 in our favour. To relieve some pressure from the attack on Kaunas (7), 6 SD attacked Raseinai (9) at 10pm, forcing 14 PzD to break off it's part of the assault on the city.

    The 25th started off with some bad news, Joniskis (5) had fallen, the riflemen had held the Panzer-Grenadieren at bay long enough for 79 ID to be captured, they were never going to hold back such a well-equipped formation indefinitely. Casualties were manageable at below 500, but they were 3-1 in the enemy's favour. What had seemed an easy win, soon became a tough battle due to German reinforcements. Only a fool will indefinitely fight a battle he cannot win. Domonovo (6) was vacated by our Guards riflemen at 9am, their spirits were high, and they remain a force to be reckoned with. The 5th Battle of of Kaunas (7) ended in defensive victory at 1pm. The good news continued with an offensive victory in Lida (8) at 2pm, with casualties 2-1 in our favour no less.

    Three German attacks started at 8 am, just after breakfast on the 26th. A half-hearted single-Division assault on Kaunas (22) to distract 78 SD from it's attack into Raseinai (9), a two-pronged attack on 7 KavD in Alytus (10), and a two-Division foray into Nowogrodek (16), presumably to chase Novikov's Il-10s away from it's home base. The latter is protected by armoured cavalry, so it may prove a tough nut to crack. Just to be sure, 9 TD (yes, the first T-34s on the front), launched a spoiling attack into the Marshes around Grodno (14) at 10am. At 4pm, King Tigers burst into Jurmala (11) on the Southern coast of the Gulf of Riga. The rifle Division on the spot isn't fully organised, let's hope the can hold long enough to secure the retreat of 91 SD. The attack on Raseinai (9) was finally called off at 7pm. A second Panzer-Division had managed to reinforce the German defences, and victory had become unlikely to say the least. The decision came too late for over 1.000 riflemen who didn't return from the battlefield, more than twice the enemy losses.

    Our Armoured Cavalry showed they were just as tough on the defensive as on the offensive, with a defensive victory in Alytus (10) against three times their number at 5am. Buoyed by that success, 7 KavD attacked across the river Memel, into the marshes at Merech (12). At noon, 7 KavD was attacked in Alytus (18) again, it had to cut short it's own offensive into Merech (12), which was just as well as the casualty ratio was particularly bad but the absolute numbers were low at about 100 dead. The battle of Jurmala (11) was also cut short, as our riflemen simply were exhausted and disorganised. They were never expected to hold back a sPzD indefinitely, just long enough to cover the retreat of 91 SD. As soon as that latter Division arrived in Jurmala (13) at 2pm and was, in turn, attacked by 1 sPzD and it's feared King Tigers, they held out until midnight, suffering 230 casualties for 30 Germans killed. In Slonim (15) 28 ID managed to sneak into the wrong province, and found itself under attack at 11pm, from 4 Red Army Divisions, of which 3 were fresh Divisions of 11ya Mot Armiya.

    The 28th of July started off with good 4am news from Grodno (14), an offensive victory with roughly even casualty numbers. 10 am saw the start of a three-pronged German attack on Panevezys (17), including the feared 16. PzGD. Maj. General Tamruchi did manage to counter the high speed 'Blitz' tactics used by Höpner's forces. The battle for Slonim (15) was won decisively at 7pm. Motorised Riflemen are rushing into the province as we speak, hot on the tail of fleeing German Infantry.

    Nowogrodek (16), and it's Air Base, was lost at 10pm on the 29th, after 2 days of fighting. Casualties were in the enemy's favour, but not dramatically so. Considering the enemy's numerical superiority, this went just as well as could be expected. The defeat in Panevezys (17) at 11pm was more one-sided with over 1.300 Soviet casualties, for less than 400 of the enemy. The enemy had managed to coordinate an enveloping attack on the province from three directions, including a PzGD and a PzD, to devastating effect.

    The fact that our armoured Cavalry isn't unbeatable became clear once again in Alytus (18), where they were forced to retreat in the face of 2.5 times their number at 11am on the 30th, after three days of fighting. The casualty ratio was in 3-2 our favour, though, the armoured sides of the GAZ half-tracks doing their part.

    As soon as 4 PzD arrived in Panevezys (21), at midnight, it was attacked by 80 SD, which had tried to beat the Panzers there. Malkowicze (19) came under attack at 4am, three Soviet Divisions defending marshland against a single German Infantry unit wasn't a massive threat, but our units were recuperating, and thus not fully organised. Colonel General Chuikov was on the scene to lead the defence, he was significantly more skilled than Generalleutnant Krüger, and managed to win the battle by 9pm, with an 8-1 advantage in casualties.

    The first of August started off well with the first Soviet Attack by two Tank Divisions, on a Division of German Mountaineers in Alytus (23) at 3am, and then another T-34 charge into Grodno (20) at 4am. Our Armoured Cavalry charged into Domonovo (24) at 6am, to try and dislodge the German Infanterie-Division from the forest. It soon became clear that T-34s weren't built to fight entrenched Infantry in swaùpland, and the attack into Grodno (20) was called off after 2 hours and 18 Soviet casualties. Then, just as I was finishing up my report, the news came that the Panevezys (21) offensive had been halted. Too bad, as it had turned decidedly in our favour, having been reinforced by two Rifle Divisions since it started. Casualties were in our favour, with almost 1.000 Axis casualties, for less than 700 of our own.

    GPW_AG2_42-08-01-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).
    Our T-34's are starting to arrive on the front, but German reinforcements have also been trickling into the area, time will tell whether our Armoured forces manage to make a big dent, or whether the effect will be to simply draw more German units into the area. More Axis forces are definitely arriving: Bulgarian reinforcements have been detected by signals intelligence, and Hungarians have popped up in battle a few times.

    1. Jurbarkas 7 (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    21 Jul 42 22:00 - 23 Jul 42 05:00
    SU: 61 SD (Art, TD - Horujenko, L2), 8 SD (Art, TD)
    21.919 men /
    1.847 KIA
    Ger (Taurage): 162 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - Sachs, L3), 168 ID (Infx2, AT, AA), 197 ID (Infx2, AT, AA), 76 ID (Infx2, AT, AA), 57 ID (Infx2, AT, AA), 88 ID (Infx2, AT, AA), Kav-Kdo (Cavx2)
    53.970 men /
    536 KIA​
    2. Valdemarpils (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    21 Jul 42 12:00 - 24 Jul 42 09:00
    SU: 16 SD (Art, AT - Klyuchko, L2, DD)
    10.997 men /
    1.847 KIA
    Slo (Ventspils): 1 Pesi Divize (Infx3 - Kubela, L1)
    8.996 men /
    969 KIA​
    3. Pasvalis 3 (Attack - Forest - Victory)
    24 Jul 42 10:00 - 20:00
    SU (Ukmerge): 235 SD (Art, AT - Malyshev, L2, BM) SU (Aizkraukle): 105 SD (Art, AT) SU (Panevezys): 43 SD (Art, AT) SU (Birzai): 80 SD (Art, AT)
    43.869 men /
    55 KIA
    Ger: 79 ID (Infx2, AC, TD - de Angelis, L5)
    7.101 men /
    624 KIA / 6.520 POW​

    4. Panevezys 8 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    24 Jul 42 11:00 - 20:00
    SU: 6 SD (Art, AT - Tamruchi, L3), 142 SD (Art, AT), 43 SD (Art, AT)
    32.992 men /
    116 KIA
    Ger (Siauliai): 36 ID (Infx3 - von Kempski, L4)
    8.521 men / 413 KIA​

    5. Joniskis (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    24 Jul 42 10:00 - 25 Jul 42 01:00
    SU: 102 SD (Art, AT - Cheremisov, L2)
    10.996 men /
    428 KIA
    Ger (Pasvalis): 79 ID (Infx2, AC, TD - de Angelis, L5) Ger (Dobele): 16 PzGD (Mec, Mot, AC, TD, SP Art - Röttiger, L3, BM)
    16.099 men / 174 KIA​

    6. Domonovo 3 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    23 Jul 42 17:00 - 25 Jul 42 09:00
    SU: 76 GvSD (AT, Eng - Barinov, L3)
    10.992 men /
    360 KIA
    Hun (Swislocz): 12 Gly (Infx2 - Vastagh, L1)
    5.994 men / 196 KIA
    Ger (Swislocz): 9 ID (Infx3), 19 ID (Infx3)
    17.993 men / 147 KIA​
    7. Kaunas 5 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
    24 Jul 42 11:00 - 25 Jul 42 13:00
    SU: 78 SD (Art, AT - Remizov, L4, BM)
    10.998 men /
    233 KIA
    Ger (Ariogala): 58 ID (Infx3 - Steiner, L4, BM) Ger (Raseinai): 14 PzD (Arm, Mot, Mot-AA, Eng) Ger (Mariampolé): 7 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA)
    23.989 men / 380 KIA​
    8. Lida 3 (Attack - Plains - Victory)
    23 Jul 42 01:00 - 25 Jul 42 14:00
    SU (Zabloc): 7 MSD (TD, Eng - Malyshev, L2, BM) SU (Nowogrodek): 5 KavD (L Arm, Mecx2, AC)
    20.992 men / 466 KIA
    Ger: 20 ID (Infx3 - Erfurth, L3)
    8.995 men /
    807 KIA​

    9. Raseinai (Attack - Plains - Defeat)
    24 Jul 42 22:00 - 26 Jul 42 19:00
    SU (Panevezys): 6 SD (Art, AT - Tamruchi, L3, OD)
    10.972 men /
    1.015 KIA
    Ger: 14 PzD (Arm, Mot, Mot-AA, Eng - Behlendorf, L4, BM), 4 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Eng)
    15.640 men /
    461 KIA​

    10. Alytus 3 (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    26 Jul 42 08:00 - 27 Jul 42 05:00
    SU: 7 KavD (L Arm, Mecx2, AC - Levandovski, L3)
    9.998 men /
    73 KIA
    Ger (Merech): 1 GbjD (Mtnx3, Eng - Hube, L3, BM), 225 ID (Infx2, AT, AA)
    17.997 men /
    219 KIA
    Hun (Swislocz): 10 Gly (Infx2)
    5.999 men / 87 KIA​

    11. Jurmala (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    26 Jul 42 16:00 - 27 Jul 42 12:00
    SU: 16 SD (Art, AT - Klyuchko, L2, DD)
    10.983 men /
    268 KIA
    Ger (Tukums): 1 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Eng - von Thoma, L3, BM)
    7.991 men /
    103 KIA​

    12. Merech 2 (Attack - Marsh - Defeat)
    27 Jul 42 10:00 - 12:00
    SU (Alytus): 7 KavD (L Arm, Mecx2, AC - Levandovski, L3)
    9.925 men /
    104 KIA
    Ger: 1 GbjD (Mtnx3, Eng - Hube, L3, BM), 162 ID (Infx2, AT, AA), 225 ID (Infx2, AT, AA)
    25.990 men /
    5 KIA​

    13. Jurmala 2 (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    27 Jul 42 14:00 - 28 Jul 42 00:00
    SU: 91 SD (Art, AT - Kamkov, L2)
    10.292 men /
    231 KIA
    Ger (Tukums): 1 sPzD (H Arm, Mot, AC, Eng - von Thoma, L3, BM)
    7.647 men /
    31 KIA​

    14. Grodno 2 (Attack - Marsh - Victory)
    26 Jul 42 10:00 - 28 Jul 42 04:00
    SU (Zabloc): 9 TD (Arm, Motx2, TD, Eng - Beloborodov, L3)
    10.992 men /
    297 KIA
    Ger: 209 ID (Infx2, AT, Eng - van Faber du Faur, L3)
    7.934 men /
    126 KIA
    Hun: 10 Gly (Infx2)
    5.876 men /
    127 KIA​

    15. Slonim (Attack - Forest - Victory)
    27 Jul 42 10:00 - 28 Jul 42 19:00
    SU (Korelicze): 36 MSD (SP Art, Eng - Maslennikov, L3), 57 MSD (SP Art, Eng), 3 KavD (L Arm, Mecx2, AC) SU (Lesna): 217 SD (Art, AT)
    42.844 men /
    134 KIA
    Ger: 28 ID (Infx3 - Leeb, L4)
    8.995 men /
    588 KIA​

    16. Nowogrodek (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    26 Jul 42 08:00 - 29 Jul 42 20:00
    SU: 6 SD (Art, AT - Tamruchi, L3), 142 SD (Art, AT), 43 SD (Art, AT)
    32.992 men /
    116 KIA
    Ger (Siauliai): 36 ID (Infx3 - von Kempski, L4)
    8.521 men /
    413 KIA​

    17. Panevezys 9 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    28 Jul 42 10:00 - 29 Jul 42 23:00
    SU: 6 SD (Art, AT - Tamruchi, L3), 142 SD (Art, AT), 43 SD (Art, AT)
    32.992 men /
    116 KIA
    Ger (Siauliai): 36 ID (Infx3 - von Kempski, L4)
    8.521 men /
    413 KIA​

    18. Alytus 4 (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    27 Jul 42 12:00 - 30 Jul 42 11:00
    SU: 7 KavD (L Arm, Mecx2, AC - Levandovski, L3)
    9.821 men /
    605 KIA
    Ger (Mariampolé - River Crossing): 170 ID (Infx2, Art, AT - Krüger W., L3, BM) Ger (Merech - River Crossing): 225 ID (Infx2, Art, AT), 1 GbjD (Mtnx3, Eng)
    25.908 men /
    905 KIA​

    19. Malkowicze (Defence - Marsh - Victory)
    31 Jul 42 04:00 - 21:00
    SU: 11 Mot. Armiya (HQ - Chuikov, L4, DD), 31 SD (Art, TD), 14 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng), I SK (HQ, Infx2, AT)
    30.075 men /
    105 KIA
    Ger (Domonovo): 19 ID (Infx3 - Krüger W., L3, BM)
    8.996 men /
    849 KIA​

    20. Grodno 2 (Attack - Marsh - Defeat)
    01 Aug 42 04:00 - 06:00
    SU (Zabloc): 15 TD (Arm, Motx2, TD, Eng - Cherniakovskij, L3)
    10.999 men /
    18 KIA
    Ger: 86 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - v Langermann und Erlenkamp, L2, BM)
    7.998 men /
    8 KIA​

    21. Panevezys 10 (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
    30 Jul 42 00:00 - 01 Aug 42 18:00
    SU (Pasvalis): 80 SD (Art, AT - Feklenko, L2), 43 SD (Art, AT), 105 SD (Art, AT)
    43.957 men /
    677 KIA
    Ger: 4 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Eng - Hammer, L2)
    7.714 men /
    964 KIA​
    Southern German Front (3 AG & 4 AG / Brjansk HQ & Odessa HQ):

    germans-surrendering-to-soviet-troops-min.jpg

    German Panzer-Grenadieren surrender to Soviet Riflemen in Sambor, they're part of Maj. General von Manstein's 10 PzD. They overextended so much they found themselves cut off from their own lines by riflemen on foot. I guess the shoe's on the other foot now. I'm sure Germany won't miss those shiny new Panzer IV's.
    Another German probe on Turka (1) started at 7pm on the 22nd, and was called off 2 hours later with few losses on our side. There was more good news at 10pm, when the Germans retreated from Rozyszcze (2) after a tough three day battle resulting over 500 dead soviets, and over 900 dead Germans. The celebrations were still ongoing at midnight, when another Infanterie-Division managed to sneak into the province before we could occupy it, prompting another battle for Rozyszcze (5).

    At 6pm the next day, came the news of a decisive Soviet victory in Zolkiew (3). German units, including King Tigers have been ousted from the province, with heavy casualties almost 2-1 in our favour. An hour later, one of our Rifle Divisions attacked an out of supply Italian Infantry Division in Kowel (8).

    It was until 9pm on the 24th before things developed in the South. The titanic struggle to take back Jaworow (4), with Heavy tanks on both sides, had come to an end, after 2 days of intense fighting, we had won, it had cost us about 2500 lives for 1800 of the enemy, but is was a victory nonetheless. At the same time, the battle for Rozyszcze (5) ended in a clear victory, with casualties nearly 3-1 in our favour.

    After retreating eastward instead of westward in the aftermath of the battle of Jaworow (4), 10 PzD found itself in Sambor (6) on the 25th of July, where it was promptly attacked, at 3pm, by a fresh Soviet Rifle Division. Maj. General Model's Panzer Division was at risk of being encircled. They had to break contact and get back to Jaworow (4). The Wehrmacht continued to probe further East in the centre of the front, attacking into Konczyce (7), which was held by a half-organised rifle Division.

    The 26th of July started with 2 German attacks at 4am, one on Turka (11), and one on Rozyscze (9), we had superior numbers in both cases, but in the latter case, our troops were tired from previous fighting, but not exhausted. 10 PzD had found itself entirely cut off, by 4am, and as the encircled 10 PzD's situation became desperate, the Wehrmacht pulled out all the stops to try and save Model's Division, striking Jaworow (10) and Lwow (12) simultaneously at 8am. 10 PzD's 5.729 remaining men surrendered at 6pm in Sambor (6). With no way out, no spare parts or Ammunition for their fighting vehicles, and no rations, the only option was to give up. They did put up one hell of a fight right up until their surrender, with a casualty ratio of 4-1 in their favour in their final battle. Midnight brought some mixed news. Konczyce (7) had fallen, but casualties were in our favour.

    Three days of fighting in Kowel (8) ended with the Red Army halting it's offensive at 2am on the 27th, after the Italians were reinforced by German Motorised Infantry. Casualties were in 2-1 in our favour. At 4am, after 24 hours of fighting, our defences in Rozyszcze (9) repelled the German offensive targetting them, all for the price of 200 dead riflemen, and three times as many Wehrmacht personnel. 3rd Army Group proceeded to take the initiative, attacking Luboml (15) as the battle for Rozyszcze (9) ended. Around tea-time, 33 SD managed to sneak into Janow (14) before German Infantry managed to take the province unopposed. This was little more than a delaying action as our riflemen where quite tired from previous fighting already.

    Jaworow (10) was lost at 8am on the 28th, with over 1.100 Soviet Casualties, and less than 250 German ones. Our riflemen had held on for a lot longer than expected, in the face of overwhelming numbers and Heavy Tanks. As 62 SD retreated into Lwow (12), it became even more important to hold the city. Later in the day, it would become clear that 2 SD, which had been in reserve for the battle of Jaworow (10), had withdrawn the wrong way, swept up in the panicky retreat of 62 SD, they moved towards the west, where they found themselves surrounded by Germans and had to surrender. Another 10.994 can be added to the list of likely POWs. Then there was some good news from Turka (11), The province had been held once again, with casualties 5-1 in our favour. Another province that held fast was Lwow (12), where a thinned defensive line managed to keep 11 PzD at bay for two days despite an initial shortage of ammunition and other supplies, until the attackers relented at 10am. The Axis couldn't help itself and attacked Turka (13) again one hour later, with King Tigers attempting to cross the river San under fire. Unsurprisingly, this latest attack petered out by 3pm, with over 200 axis casualties for less than 50 of our own.

    The 29th started off with yet another attack on Turka (16), starting at 5am. A single Panzer-Division across the river San was unlikely to make much of a dent.

    Janow (14) was lost at 11am on the 30th, our riflemen were too exhausted to continue to offer resistance after three days of struggle. Casualties were 3-1 in our favour, with 'only' 215 Soviet lives lost.

    Exactly one day later, at 11am, 3rd AG could celebrate a hard-fought offensive victory in Luboml (15). The 4 day battle cost 1.800 German and close to 1400 Soviet lives. 169 SD managed to slip into Zamosc (), part of Western Poland, at 3pm. The riflemen immediately came under fire, from Bulgarian Infantry.

    The new month started out with a 5am victory in Turka (16). After three days of fighting one Panzer-Division after another in their attempts to cross the San river, the defenders held, and the Panzers stopped trying. Casualties were 3-1 in our favour, with almost 1.500 killed Germans. Another single-Division attack on Lwow (17) started at 6am. This time 4 LeichteD was having a go. 10 TTGvD was temporarily reinforced by a very disorganised 62 SD. Turka (18) came under attack again, at 7am, for the 11th time. At the same time, 122 SD attacked three German Divisions, including a PzD, in Przemysl (21), on it's own. This wasn't as mad as it sounded, as this attack would distract 4 LeichteD from it's push into Lwow (17). Then, at 9am, 42 SD re-occupied Sambor (), where It was promptly attacked by German tanks and Bulgarian Infantry. Luckily, our riflemen had the river Dniestr to aid them in their defence. 10 am saw the end of both the battle for Lwow (17), and the latest battle for Turka (18). For both defensive victories, enemy casualties were an order of magnitude higher than ours.

    After lunch, at 1pm, 3 Rifle Divisions launched an offensive from Turka into Jaworow (19). Hitting the flank of the axis attackers of Sambor (22). It was called off at 6pm, and that was just as well, as casualties were not in our favour, our riflemen losing over 400 of their number for about half as many Axis soldiers killed.

    GPW_AG3_42-08-01-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).
    Things have somewhat stabilised, and with several successful counter-attacks, the Red Army has taken back some initiative. Bulgarian troops have been met in battle, as well as more Italians. Of course, any Bulgarian Division on the main front isn't defending it's homeland, opening up an opportunity for a future surprise invasion of Bulgaria.

    1. Turka 7 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    22 Jul 42 19:00 - 21:00
    SU: 48 SD (Art, AT - Mitrofanov, L2, BM), 10 SD (Art, TD), 56 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT)
    54.247 men /
    22 KIA
    Ger (Gorlice - River Crossing): 216 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Völckers, L3, OD), 228 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    15.992 men /
    151 KIA​

    2. Rozyszcze 2 (Attack - Forest - Victory)
    20 Jul 42 12:00 - 22 Jul 42 22:00
    SU (Kamien Koszyrski): 104 SD (Art, AT - Tiulenev, L3) SU (Poryck): 87 SD (Art, TD)
    21.887 men /
    554 KIA
    Ger: 45 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Felber, L3)
    7.998 men /
    951 KIA​

    3. Zolkiew 3 (Attack - Plains - Victory)
    21 Jul 42 04:00 - 23 Jul 42 18:00
    SU (Wlodzimierz Wolynski - River Crossing): 122 SD (Art, AT - Nikishin, L3) SU (Lwow): 169 SD (Art, AT) SU (Krasne): 72 GvSD (AT, Eng)
    32.988 men /
    658 KIA
    Ger: 6 sPzD (HArm, Mot, TD, Mot-AA - Angern, L3, BM), 95 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    13.914 men /
    756 KIA
    Hun: 9 Gly (Infx2)
    5.218 men /
    378 KIA​

    4. Jaworow 8 (Attack - Plains - Victory)
    22 Jul 42 04:00 - 24 Jul 42 21:00
    SU (Lwow): 72 GvSD (AT, Eng - Badanov, L3, BM), 10 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng) SU (Turka): 10 SD (Art, TD)
    43.982 men /
    2.498 KIA
    Ger: 93 ID (Infx2, AT, Art - von Bismarck, L2, BM), 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Model, L6, BM, DD), SS-Verf (WSS),
    2 sPzD (HArm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA), 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC)
    24.699 men / 1.804 KIA​

    5. Rozyszcze 3 (Attack - Forest - Victory)
    23 Jul 42 00:00 - 24 Jul 42 21:00
    SU (Kamien Koszyrski): 104 SD (Art, AT - Tiulenev, L3) SU (Poryck): 87 SD (Art, TD) SU (Luck): 113 SD (Art, AT)
    32.270 men /
    396 KIA
    Ger: 62 ID (Infx2, AT, Eng - von Knobelsdorff, L4, BM)
    7.996 men /
    1.051 KIA​

    6. Sambor (Attack - Woods - Victory)
    25 Jul 42 15:00 - 26 Jul 42 18:00
    SU (Turka): 27 SD (Art, AT - Mitrofanov, L2, BM) SU (Stryj): 74 SD (Art, AT)
    20.918 men /
    474 KIA
    Ger: 10 PzD (Arm, Mot, TD, AC - Model, L6, BM, DD)
    6.091 men /
    160 KIA / 5.729 POW​

    7. Konczyce (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    25 Jul 42 19:00 - 27 Jul 42 00:00
    SU: 5 SD (Art, AT - Zhmachenko, L3)
    10.995 men /
    173 KIA
    Ger (Bereza): 18 ID (Infx3 - Koch-Erpach, L4)
    8.998 men /
    307 KIA​

    8. Kowel 3 (Attack - Forest - Defeat)
    23 Jul 42 19:00 - 27 Jul 42 02:00
    SU (Kamien Koszyrski): 130 SD (Art, AT - Petin, L2)
    10.994 men /
    269 KIA
    Ger: 2 ID(mot) (Motx2, TD, Eng)
    7.988 men /
    437 KIA
    Ita: 41a DF (Infx2 - Gariboldi, L1)
    5.989 men /
    219 KIA​

    9. Rozyszcze 4 (Defence- Forest - Victory)
    26 Jul 42 04:00 - 27 Jul 42 04:00
    SU: 104 SD (Art, AT - Tiulenev, L3), 87 SD (Art, TD)
    21.620 men /
    208 KIA
    Ger (Bereza): 60 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Raus, L3, BM)
    7.998 men /
    600 KIA​

    10. Jaworow 9 (Defence - Plains - Defeat)
    26 Jul 42 08:00 - 28 Jul 42 08:00
    SU: 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk), 2 SD (Art, AT)
    21.991 men /
    1.178 KIA / 10.994 POW
    Ger (Jaroslaw - River Crossing): 2 sPzD (HArm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Jodl A., L4, OD), SSD 'LSAH' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA)
    Ger (
    Przemysl): 93 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    22.201 men /
    237 KIA​

    11. Turka 8 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    26 Jul 42 04:00 - 28 Jul 42 09:00
    SU: 48 SD (Art, AT - Mitrofanov, L2, BM), 10 SD (Art, TD), 56 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT)
    54.008 men /
    333 KIA
    Ger (Gorlice - River Crossing): 216 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Völckers, L3, OD), 228 ID (Infx2, AC, AT)
    15.989 men /
    1.599 KIA​

    12. Lwow 7 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 2 - Low Supplies - Victory)
    26 Jul 42 08:00 - 28 Jul 42 10:00
    SU: XXIX GvSK (HQ, Gdsx2, AT - Popov M.M., DD), 10 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng - Novikov N.A., L3, BM)
    18.722 men /
    180 KIA
    Ger (Przemysl): 11 PzD (Arm, Mot, Mot-AA, Eng - Heinrici, L5, BM)
    7.995 men /
    518 KIA​

    13. Turka 9 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    28 Jul 42 11:00 - 15:00
    SU: 48 SD (Art, AT - Mitrofanov, L2, BM), 10 SD (Art, TD), 56 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT)
    53.993 men /
    44 KIA
    Ger (Gorlice - River Crossing): 4 sPzD (HArm, Mot, AC, Eng - von Cochenhausen, L3, Eng)
    7.996 men /
    101 KIA
    Hun (Uzhorod): 29 TP (Infx2, AT, AA)
    7.997 men /
    102 KIA​

    14. Janow (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    27 Jul 42 18:00 - 30 Jul 42 11:00
    SU: 33 SD (Art, AT - Kholostyakov, L2)
    10.388 men /
    215 KIA
    Ger (Dywin): 214 ID (Infx2, AT, AA - von und zu Grote, L3)
    7.975 men /
    686 KIA​
    15. Luboml 5 (Attack - Woods - Victory)
    27 Jul 42 04:00 - 31 Jul 42 11:00
    SU (Poryck): 14 SD (Art, AT - Trofimenko, L3) SU (Wlodzimierz Wolynski): 74 SD (Art, AT - Lazarev, L3, BM)
    21.988 men /
    1.385 KIA
    Ger: 60 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Raus, L3, BM), 231 ID (Infx2, AC, Eng), 45 ID (Infx2, AC, AT), 231 ID (Infx2, AT, Eng)
    6.091 men /
    160 KIA​

    16. Turka 10 (Defence - Forest - Low Supplies - Victory)
    29 Jul 42 05:00 - 01 Aug 42 05:00
    SU: 48 SD (Art, AT - Mitrofanov, L2, BM), 10 SD (Art, TD), 56 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT)
    53.488 men /
    506 KIA
    Ger (Gorlice - River Crossing): 3 PzD (L Armx2, Mot, Eng - von Manstein, L7, OD, BM, Trk), 4 sPzD (HArm, Mot, AC, Eng),
    8 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Kirchner, L4, BM)
    33.982 men / 1.497 KIA​

    17. Lwow 8 (Defence - Urban - Fort Level 2 - Victory)
    01 Aug 42 06:00 - 09:00
    SU: 62 SD (Art, AT - Rogachev, L2, Trk), 10 TTGvD (H Arm, Gdsx2, Art, Eng)
    21.183 men /
    17 KIA
    Ger (Przemysl): 4 LeichteD (Motx2, AC - Geib, L4, DD)
    6.996 men /
    129 KIA​

    18. Turka 11 (Defence - Forest - Low Supplies - Victory)
    01 Aug 42 07:00 - 09:00
    SU: 48 SD (Art, AT - Mitrofanov, L2, BM), 10 SD (Art, TD), 56 SD (Art, AT), 181 SD (Art, AT), 180 SD (Art, AT)
    52.439 men /
    7 KIA
    Ger (Gorlice - River Crossing): 216 ID (Infx2, AC, AT - Völckers, L3, OD)
    7.997 men /
    205 KIA​

    19. Jaworow 10 (Attack - Plains - Defeat)
    01 Aug 42 13:00 - 18:00
    SU (Zolkiew): 56 SD (Art, AT - Novikov V. V., L3, BM)
    10.937 men /
    410 KIA
    Ger: 2 sPzD (HArm, Mot, AC, Mot-AA - Jodl A., L4, OD), SSD 'LSAH' (WSSx2, AC, Mot-AA), 5 PzD (Arm, Mot, SP Art, TD)
    23.023 men /
    162 KIA
    Bul: 11-va ZP (Infx2, ??)
    7.675 men /
    48 KIA​
    Hungarian Front (3 AG & 4 AG / Brjansk HQ & Odessa HQ):


    Drohobycz (1) was first on the Hungarian Army's hit-list, the 10th attack on the province started at 7pm on the 22nd of July, and ended 2 hours later with little effect on the more numerous and entrenched defenders.

    Things stayed quiet until the 11th Hungarian offensive on Drohobycz (4) started at 10am on the 25th of July.

    The 28th saw some more action as Hungarian forces charged across the Western Bug into Husiatyn (2) at 11am, with both numbers, and the river, working in our favour, it took just an hour for the Hungarians to call off the attack. Casualties were 102-1, with only a single unlucky rifleman that got killed.

    Dolina (3) came under fire at 5am on the 29th, after less than an hour, the Hungarians thought better of their offensive, ending a battle they couldn't hope to win with less than 30 Hungarian casualties.

    Due in large part to a lack of supplies on our side, our defeat, after 5 days of fighting in the 11th defensive battle for Drohobycz (4) was still somewhat unexpected when it was announced at 6am on the 30th. Casualties were over 3.000 in total, and nearly 2-1 in our favour. The reinforcement of the Hungarian attack by 2 fresh Divisions is what finally tipped the balance in the enemy's favour.

    For the Hungarian front, the month of August started off with a 6am Soviet offensive into the hills of Svalava (5) started. With our riflemen outnumbered 2-1, we had to hope their superior equipment would save the day, a doubtful proposition. There was more action as 51 SD managed to slip into Stanislawow (), after the Hungarian Army had left it unoccupied. As our riflemen got there, they came under fire from three directions, as the Hungarians were also moving several units into the city and the surrounding forests. As it dragged on, the battle for Svalava (5) took a turn for the worst, our riflemen got bogged down and casualties were rapidly mounting. 4ya Armiya called it a day at 3pm, having lost nearly 450 riflemen, and the Hungarians barely more than a third that many.

    GPW_AG4_42-08-01-min.jpg

    Map of 4ya Armiya's front line (teal). The smaller circles indicate small scale battles (in number of troops killed).
    The Hungarian Army continues to be thorn in our side. 4ya Armiya did recover Stanislawow, but the city is already contested, and no reinforcements seem to be forthcoming, not on our side anyway. Hungarian attacks continue to chip away at our defences, with our defenders sometimes plagued by supply issues as well. How long will it take for them to poke another hole in our line? Or maybe, 4ya Armiya will see the light and attempt to cut off Hungarian troops in the Eastern Salient around Stanislawow.

    1. Drohobycz 10 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    22 Jul 42 19:00 - 21:00
    SU: 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (Art, AT), 176 SD (AT)
    31.906 men /
    40 KIA
    Hun (Svalava): 24 Gly (Infx2, AT, AA - Stomm, L3, BM), 30 TP (Infx2, Art, AT)
    15.991 men /
    137 KIA​

    2. Husiatyn (Defence - Plains - Victory)
    28 Jul 42 11:00 - 12:00
    SU: 24 SD (Art, AT - Makeev, L2), 141 SD (Art, TD)
    21.814 men /
    1 KIA
    Hun (Kolomyja): 13 Gly (Infx2 - Barabas, L1)
    5.996 men /
    102 KIA​

    3. Dolina 2 (Defence - Forest - Victory)
    29 Jul 42 05:00
    SU: 121 SD (Art, TD - Larichev, L2, DD), 55 SD (Art, AT)
    21.992 men /
    7 KIA
    Hun (Svalava): 31 TP (Infx2, AT, AA - Decleva, L2), 'Szent Laszlo' Ply (Infx2, AT, AA)
    15.995 men /
    28 KIA​

    4. Drohobycz 11 (Defence - Forest - Defeat)
    25 Jul 42 10:00 - 30 Jul 42 06:00
    SU: 27 SD (Art, AT - Vinogradov, L2), 183 SD (Art, AT), 176 SD (AT)
    32.044 men /
    1.404 KIA
    Hun (Uzhorod): 25 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT - Kiss L., L2), 16 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 20 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 32 TP (Infx2, Art, AT)
    39.990 men /
    2.607 KIA​

    5. Svalava 2 (Attack - Hills - Defeat)
    01 Aug 42 06:00 - 15:00
    SU (Skole): 182 SD (Art, TD - Ermakov, L2), 143 SD (Art, AT)
    21.946 men /
    445 KIA
    Hun: 32 TP (Infx2, Art, AT - Brunswik, L1), 4 TP (Infx2, Art, AT), 27 Gly (Infx2, AC, AT), 24 Gly (Infx2, AT, AA), 30 TP (Infx2, Art, AT)
    45.993 men /
    157 KIA​
    Bombardment:


    Ju-88A4Crashed2-min.jpg

    The wreckage of one of the many Ju-88A-4's that were shot down over Pasvalis. This was a rare case where German bombers managed to do some damage on the ground. Of course, they paid a heavy price.
    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)
    I BAK - Ftr, Tacx2 - 124 La-7, 200 Yak-4 - 524 airmen - Kyiv - Lt. Gen. Av. Golovanov, L3-4, CB

    - Taurage (2 / 40 / 473)
    - Zelva (2 / 1 / 304)
    - Dywin (1 / 2 / 171)
    - Luboml (1 / 1 / 200)
    - Svalava (1 / 1 / 77)

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

    - Stanislawow (3 / 4 / 518)
    - Kowel (4 / 4 / 959)
    - Uzhorod (1 / 26 / 115)

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

    - Lida (3 / 1 / 245)
    - Swislocz (6 / 7 / 833)
    - Bereza (3 / 2 / 207)
    - Zelva (3 / 75 / 232)

    IV ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Kyiv - Lt. Gen. Av. Rudenko, L2, TB

    - Jaworow (9 / 19 / 1.477)
    - Przemysl (3 / 7 / 217)

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

    - Rozyszcze (3 / 0 / 287)
    - Sambor (3 / 0 / 202)
    - Przemysl (2 / 3 / 274)
    - Uzhorod (1 / 19 / 134)

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

    - Dobele (2 / 1 / 214)
    - Tukums (3 / 1 / 403)
    - Ariogala (2 / 7 / 148)
    - Raseinai (2 / 3 / 280)
    - Joniskis (2 / 13 / 166)

    III ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Riga - Lt. Gen. Av. Kutakhov, L3, TB

    - Raseinai (8 / 20 / 1.129)
    - Jurbarkas (6 / 25 / 707)
    - Mariampolé (6 / 20 / 998)

    III IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Homel - Lt. Gen. Av. Vorozheikin, L4

    - Zelva (1 / 1 / 6)

    VII IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Moskva - Lt. Gen. Av. Eremin, L3

    - Joniskis (1 / 0 / 5)​


    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

    - Switaz (6 / 3 / 0 / 3,0 / 191 / 11.185)
    - Wolkowysk (6 / 0 / 0 / 4,8 / 34.990 / 10.382)
    - Jaworow (2 / 3 / 0 / 2,3 / 23.807 / 74.316)​

    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, 174 Ju-88A-4 - 808 airmen - Genlt. Mahnke, L3, SAT

    - Kaunas (1 / 38 / 149)

    Luftflotte 'Bülowius' - Ftr, Tacx2 - 106 FW-190D, 173 Ju-88A-4 - 798 airmen - Genlt. Bülowius, L4, TB

    - Kaunas (1 / 53 / 190)

    Luftflotte 'Dörstling' - Ftr, Tacx2 - 84 FW-190D, 186 Ju-88A-4 - 828 airmen - Genlt. Dörstling, L3

    - Pasvalis (1 / 47 / 190)​

    Bombing Totals (last 10 days):

    SU Bombing losses: 529 KIA
    VMF (Surface Fleet) losses: CA -8% / 106 KIA
    Axis Bombing losses: 10.964 KIA / 3 AAA guns / 10,07 Infra / 59,0 Supplies / 95,9 Fuel / 2,4 Naval Bases
    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.
    GPW_VVS_42-08-01-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.

    Air Battles:
    1. Taurage (Luftwaffe Intercept - Victory)
    22 Jul 42 20:00 - 00:00
    VVS: I BAK - Ftr, Tacx2 - 121 La-7, 198 Yak-4 - 517 airmen - Homel - Lt. Gen. Av. Golovanov, L4, CB
    IV IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Rychagov, L2, SAT
    815 planes / 1.013 airmen /
    40 downed / 56 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 2, JG 26, JG 109 - Intx3 - 333 Me-109G - 333 airmen - ? - Genlt. Klepke, L3, SAT
    333 planes / 333 airmen /
    25 downed / 25 KIA​

    2. Kamien Koszyrski (Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    22 Jul 42 20:00 - 00:00
    VVS: VI IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Rog, L3
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    6 downed / 6 KIA
    Luftwaffe: StG 1, SkG 1 - CASx3 - 223 Hs-129 - 223 airmen - ? - Genlt. Kitzinger, L4
    223 planes / 223 airmen /
    42 downed / 42 KIA​

    4. Mariampolé (Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    26 Jul 42 17:00 - 21:00
    VVS: IV IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Rychagov, L2, SAT
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    5 downed / 5 KIA
    Luftwaffe: KG 28, KG 51 - Tacx2 - 176 Ju-88A-4 - 704 airmen - ? - Reichsmarschall Göring, L3, CB
    176 planes / 704 airmen /
    12 downed / 48 KIA​

    6. Uzhorod (Hungarian Intercept - Victory)
    27 Jul 42 08:00 - 12:00
    VVS: II BAK - Ftr, Tacx2 - 124 La-7, 200 Yak-4 - 524 airmen - Homel - Lt. Gen. Av. Yakovlev, L4, TB
    II IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Astakhov, L4
    820 planes / 1.020 airmen /
    26 downed / 50 KIA
    RHAF: I Vly, I Ely, II Ely - Intx3 - 372 CR.32 - 372 airmen - ? - Vezds. (Lt. Gen. Av.) Rakösi, L1
    372 planes / 372 airmen /
    67 downed / 67 KIA​

    7. Zelva (Luftwaffe Intercept - Victory)
    27 Jul 42 17:00 - 20:00
    VVS: II ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 124 La-7, 248 Il-10 - 620 airmen - Nowogrodek - Chief Marshall. Av. Novikov, L3, TB
    III IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Homel - Lt. Gen. Av. Vorozheikin, L4
    868 planes / 1.116 airmen /
    75 downed / 127 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 2, JG 26, JG 109 - Intx3 - 317 Me-109G - 317 airmen - ? - Genlt. Klepke, L3, SAT
    317 planes / 317 airmen /
    21 downed / 21 KIA​

    8. Kaunas (Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    28 Jul 42 05:00 - 09:00
    VVS: IV IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Kaunas - Lt. Gen. Av. Rychagov, L2, SAT
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    17 downed / 17 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 54, KG 26, KG 27 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 112 FW-190D, 174 Ju-88A-4 - 808 airmen - ? - Genlt. Mahnke, L3, SAT
    286 planes / 808 airmen /
    38 downed / 54 KIA​

    9. Uzhorod (Hungarian Intercept - Victory)
    29 Jul 42 07:00 - 10:00
    VVS: I ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 123 La-7, 245 Il-10 - 613 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Zhigarev, L3, TB
    II IAK-PVO - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Lwow - Lt. Gen. Av. Astakhov, L4
    864 planes / 1.109 airmen /
    19 downed / 29 KIA
    RHAF: I Vly, I Ely, II Ely - Intx3 - 316 CR.32 - 316 airmen - ? - Vezds. (Lt. Gen. Av.) Rakösi, L1
    316 planes / 316 airmen /
    31 downed / 31 KIA​

    10. Joniskis (Luftwaffe Intercept - Victory)
    29 Jul 42 08:00 - 11:00
    VVS: V ShAK - Ftr, CASx2 - 121 La-7, 245 Il-10 - 611 airmen - Nowogrodek - Lt. Gen. Av. Goryunov, L2
    VII IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Rezekne - Lt. Gen. Av. Eremin, L3
    862 planes / 1.107 airmen /
    13 downed / 14 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 4 - Int - 71 Me-109G - 71 airmen - ? - Genmaj. Fisser, L1, SAT
    71 planes / 71 airmen /
    24 downed / 24 KIA​
    13. Kaunas (Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    30 Jul 42 17:00 - 20:00
    VVS: VII IAK - Intx4 - 496 Yak-7 - 496 airmen - Rezekne - Lt. Gen. Av. Eremin, L3
    496 planes / 496 airmen /
    27 downed / 27 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 106, KG 54, KG 55 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 106 FW-190D, 173 Ju-88A-4 - 452 airmen - ? - Genlt. Bülowius, L4, TB
    279 planes / 452 airmen /
    53 downed / 79 KIA​

    14. Pasvalis (Soviet Intercept - Victory)
    31 Jul 42 05:00 - 07:00
    VVS: VII IAK - Intx4 - 471 Yak-7 - 471 airmen - Rezekne - Lt. Gen. Av. Eremin, L3
    471 planes / 471 airmen /
    23 downed / 23 KIA
    Luftwaffe: JG 50, KG 50, KG 76 - Ftr, Tacx2 - 84 FW-190D, 186 Ju-88A-4 - 828 airmen - ? - Genlt. Dörstling, L3
    270 planes / 828 airmen /
    47 downed / 93 KIA​

    Air Totals (last 10 days):

    VVS: 11 battles / 82 Ground Attack / 14 Log. Bomb. / 403 (46 Yak-4, 133 Il-10, 120 La-7, 98 Yak-7, 6 TB-3, 0 Li-2) / 624 KIA
    VMF (Air Fleet): 5 battles / 5 Port strike / 20 (10 La-7VM, 10 Il-10VM) / 30 KIA
    Total SU: 15 battles / 82 Grd Attack / 14 Log. Bomb. / 423 / 654 KIA
    Luftwaffe: 10 battles / 3 Ground Attack / 1 Naval Strike / 271 (74 Me-109G, 50 FW-190D, 100 Ju-88A-4, 5 Ju-290A, 42 Hs-129) / 611 KIA
    RHAF: 2 battles / 98 (98 CR.32) / 98 KIA
    RBAF: 3 battles / 33 (33 He-51) / 33 KIA
    Axis: 15 Battles / 1 Naval Strike / 402 / 742 KIA​
    Air Totals (GPW - Last 40 days):

    VVS: 33 battles / 448 Ground Attack / 44 Log. Bomb. / 1.802 (262 Yak-4, 515 Il-10, 626 La-7, 338 Yak-7, 14 TB-3, 47 Li-2) / 2.724 KIA
    VMF (Air Fleet): 17 battles / 1 Naval Strike / 5 Port Strikes / 465 (232 La-7VM, 233 Il-10VM) / 698 KIA
    Total SU: 44 battles / 448 Grd Attack / 44 Log. Bomb / 1 Naval Strike / 9 Port strike / 2.267 / 3.422 KIA
    Luftwaffe: 35 battles / 6 Ground Attacks / 7 Naval strikes / 1.342 (379 Me-109G, 408 FW-190D, 477 Ju-88A-4, 36 Ju-290A, 42 Hs-129) / 3.061 KIA
    RHAF: 6 battles / 305 (158 Ju-87, 188 Ju-86K-2, 132 CR.32) / 478 KIA
    RBAF: 3 battles / 33 (33 He-51) / 33 KIA
    Axis: 44 Battles / 6 Ground Attacks / 7 Naval Strikes / 1.680 / 3.572 KIA​

    Mediterranean (Odessa HQ):


    At 7am, on the 29th of July, the Leninets-class (Series II) submarines of VIII Flot Podlodok were the unlikely actors of our first naval victory in the Mediterranean. Catching a fleet of 10 already damaged Italian troop transports by surprise in the Eastern Ionian Sea, they inflicted further damage on them, sinking 2 troop transports. The ships were filled with Italian troops, but they were able to save the vast majority of them, and load them onto the remaining ships. Out of torpedoes, our submariners went their merry way after confirming to the Navy HQ in Mythiléné that the transports were headed into the small port of Patra. Probably to offload the troops and start some hasty repairs to the remaining ships.

    Counter Admiral Golovko, of I Avianosets Flote, thought otherwise. With the Black Sea Fleet covering the Central Aegean Sea, he sent out all for of his CAG wings for a series of Port Strikes on Patra, moving the Carrier Fleet into the Northern Aegean Sea so his aeroplanes didn't have to fly as far on the second mission. After the second mission, only a single transport ship remained, and the docks had been blown to bits, making any further repairs impossible until the port facilities had been repaired. Upon returning to the Northern Aegean after their second run, I KPA and II KPA were intercepted by a single wing of Bulgarian Heinkel He 51 biplane Interceptors. (It should be noted that Bulgaria never had any He 51s in it's tiny Air Force. Also the He 51 was a significantly worse fighter than the CR.32 the Hungarians are using, as the CR.32 replaced the He 51 in the Nationalist Spanish Air Force during the civil war. It did prove a decent ground attack plane.)

    Port strikes continued the next day, with another Air Battle taking place, and the final troop transport sent to the bottom by Il-10VM-launched torpedoes.

    The obsolete He 51s being no match for our modern Carrier-based fighters, Counter Admiral Golovko was ordered to find the Bulgarian fleet. After a single bombing run on Varna on the 1st of August, it was confirmed that the Bulgarian navy consisted entirely of Transport ships, with no military vessels to speak of. The port was protected by Anti-Air Artillery, and the same He-51s intercepted our CAGs over it, downing a single aeroplane, for 12 of their own. The Bulgarian fleet is thus not a threat, and any attempt at an invasion by them could easily be foiled by the Red Navy. To save the CAGs some attrition, the mission was called off.

    Balkans42-08-01-min.jpg

    Greece, Bulgaria, and the surrounding seas and waterways. The playground of our Mediterranean Navy, for now. Torpedoes indicate Port strikes, Red ones are port strikes by our Navy Air Fleet (VMF)

    Sea Battles (Mediterranean):

    1. Eastern Ionian Sea (Naval Battle - Victory)
    29 Jul 42 10 :00 - 03 Jul 42 01:00
    VMF: VIII Flot Podlodok - 2 SS - 10 x Leninets Series II - 530 sailors - Mytiléné - V.Adm. Rakov L2, Spt
    2 naval units / 10 ships / 530 sailors /
    0 ships / 0 sailors KIA
    Regia Marina: 8a SqT, 9a SqT - 2 TP - 10 Troop transports - 960 sailors - ? - Contrammiraglio Gaspari, L2
    2 naval units / 10 ships / 480 sailors /
    8a SqT (TP -37,5%), 9a SqT (TP -14,3%) / 3 ships / 249 sailors KIA​
    Air Battles (Mediterranean):


    11. Northern Aegean Sea (Bulgarian Intercept - Victory)
    29 Jul 42 23:00 - 30 Jul 42 02:00
    VMF: I KPA - CAGx2 - 64 La-7VM, 64 Il-10VM - 192 airmen - Kyiv (CV) - Air Ctr. Adm. Vershinin, L3
    II KPA - CAG - 64 La-7VM, 64 Il-10VM - 192 airmen - Minsk (CV) - Air Capt 1C Sudets, L3
    256 planes / 384 airmen /
    1 downed / 2 KIA
    RBAF: 6-ti IP - Int - 122 He-51 Sokol - 122 airmen - ? - Gen-Lt. (Maj. Gen) Ayrjanov, L1
    122 planes / 122 airmen /
    20 downed / 20 KIA​

    12. Northern Aegean Sea (Bulgarian Intercept - Fog & Rain - Victory)
    30 Jul 42 06:00 - 09:00
    VMF: I KPA - CAGx2 - 64 La-7VM, 64 Il-10VM - 192 airmen - Kyiv (CV) - Air Ctr. Adm. Vershinin, L3
    II KPA - CAG - 64 La-7VM, 63 Il-10VM - 190 airmen - Minsk (CV) - Air Capt 1C Sudets, L3
    255 planes / 382 airmen /
    1 downed / 1 KIA
    RBAF: 6-ti IP - Int - 102 He-51 Sokol - 102 airmen - ? - Gen-Lt. (Maj. Gen) Ayrjanov, L1
    102 planes / 102 airmen /
    1 downed / 1 KIA​
    15. Varna (Bulgarian Intercept - Victory)
    01 Aug 42 12:00 - 14:00
    VMF: I KPA - CAGx2 - 64 La-7VM, 64 Il-10VM - 192 airmen - Kyiv (CV) - Air Ctr. Adm. Vershinin, L3
    II KPA - CAG - 64 La-7VM, 63 Il-10VM - 190 airmen - Minsk (CV) - Air Capt 1C Sudets, L3
    255 planes / 382 airmen /
    1 downed / 1 KIA
    RBAF: 6-ti IP - Int - 89 He-51 Sokol - 89 airmen - ? - Gen-Lt. (Maj. Gen) Ayrjanov, L1
    89 planes / 89 airmen /
    12 downed / 12 KIA
    GulfOfTaranto42-07-29_1600-min.jpg

    Later on, in the Gulf of Taranto, our Submarines spotted the Italian Battleship Giulio Cesare, escorted by a Flotilla of Maestrale-Class Destroyers. Luckily, the Italian Destroyers didn't spot them when they were taking this picture. They managed to move on undamaged and unencumbered. With our Carrier Fleet in the Black Sea, our Red Navy was unable to send a suitable force to Intercept the Italian Battleship with any real chance of success.​
    Convoy Raiding:

    Baltic Sea: 16 Axis convoys sunk
    North Atlantic: 8 Axis convoys sunk
    Aegean Sea: 7 Axis convoys & 1 escort sunk
    Central Med: 21 Axis convoys & 1 escort sunk
    Total (last 10 days): 52 convoys and 2 escorts sunk
    Total GPW (30 days): 148 convoys and 5 escorts sunk.​
    Total numbers (GPW):

    GPW_OV_42-08-01-min.jpg


    Total Ground losses:
    SU: 5.462.163 (+1.109.466) / 96.214 KIA (+21.076) (95.277 (+20.547 / ground), 937 (+529 / air)) / 57.778 POW (+10.994)
    Ger: 3.082.994 (+570.690) / 90.407 KIA (+21.699 / ground) / 18.294 POW (+18.294)
    Hun: 846.948 (+155.049) / 10.468 KIA (+3.921 / ground)
    Ita: 21.748 (+11.987) / 242 KIA (+241 / ground)
    Slo: 25.932 (+8.996) / 2.775 KIA (+ 969 / ground)
    Axis: 3.977.622 (+746.722) / 163.491 KIA (103.892 (+26.830 / ground), 59.599 (+11.109 / air)) / 18.294 POW (+18.294)

    Total Navy losses:
    VMF: 2 Naval Battles / 6 Naval strikes / 9 Port strikes / BB -10% / CVL -32% / CA -15% / CL -30% / DD -57% / TP -4% / 1.131 sailors KIA (+106)
    Kriegsmarine: 1 Naval Battle / 1 DD / 1.280 KIA
    Regia Marina: 1 Naval Battle / 2 TP / 327 KIA
    Royal Bulgarian Navy: 310 KIA
    Axis: 148 Convoys / 5 Escorts

    Air Totals (GPW - Last 40 days):
    VVS: 33 battles / 448 Ground Attack / 44 Log. Bomb. / 1.802 (262 Yak-4, 515 Il-10, 626 La-7, 338 Yak-7, 14 TB-3, 47 Li-2) / 2.724 KIA
    VMF (Air Fleet): 17 battles / 1 Naval Strike / 5 Port Strikes / 465 (232 La-7VM, 233 Il-10VM) / 698 KIA
    Total SU: 44 battles / 448 Grd Attack / 44 Log. Bomb / 1 Naval Strike / 9 Port strike / 2.267 / 3.422 KIA
    Luftwaffe: 35 battles / 6 Ground Attacks / 7 Naval strikes / 1.342 (379 Me-109G, 408 FW-190D, 477 Ju-88A-4, 36 Ju-290A, 42 Hs-129) / 3.061 KIA
    RHAF: 6 battles / 305 (158 Ju-87, 188 Ju-86K-2, 132 CR.32) / 478 KIA
    RBAF: 3 battles / 33 (33 He-51) / 33 KIA
    Axis: 44 Battles / 6 Ground Attacks / 7 Naval Strikes / 1.680 / 3.572 KIA

    Total Losses (GPW):
    158.545 (+32.850 (SU)) / 187.274 (+58.022) (Axis)

    Anti-Partisan Operations (including the previous anti-partisan operation)
    NKGBF: 109.951 (+11.995) / 68 KIA (+2) (ground)
    Fin: 40.375 (+6.088) / 391 KIA (+33 / ground) / 25.857 POW (+3.121)
    These last 10 days, it was the Axis which overextended, and 2 German Divisions were forced to surrender to our forces, including 10 Panzer-Division. We did lose a Rifle Division in the South. As for casualties, the death toll was in our advantage, even before we add in the impact of the VVS. The Luftwaffe ramped up it's operations, disrupting our ground attack operations, and flying several of their own. That said, the VVS's Yak-7's gave them a warm reception, shooting down countless enemy aeroplanes. The scope of the war increased, with the appearance of Bulgarian troops, and limited Red Navy operations in the Aegean. The Finnish uprising is far from over as the NKGBF's mounted brigades are still moving into position to even start to grapple with the insurgents. Paratroopers will probably be called in to assist as soon as they're reorganised. Outside Finland, things are looking up: The main front has been stabilised, and the Armoured Army Group is starting to put pressure in the area between Kaunas and Brzesc Litweski. No further cities were lost despite the thinning defences in Riga, Kaunas, and Lwow. A foray into Zamosc, in Western Poland, will probably be pushed back, but it's bound to rattle the Germans. As always, your input is valued,

    Greetings,

    'Odin'​
     
    Last edited:
    2nd of August 1942, 'Odin', 'Odinatsat': Lend-Lease & the cost of war.
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    The 2nd of August 1942, Vologda, 2,6°C, 8pm Moscow Time

    There wasn't much sleep to be had last night. A plan on how to best use the American lend-lease aid had to be ready and communicated to Comrade Stalin by 7am, and to the American delegation by 8am. An encrypted radio link was set up between Helsingör and Vologda, so that we may have the advice form our team of 'retired' Generals on some practical matters. Of course, the advice of our esteemed Turkish advisor Boga Filtresi on these matters was also most valuable.

    The replacement of lost Divisions was an absolute priority for Stalin, and thus the first item to be listed was the training of a new Opolcheniye Division and support Regiments, in order to replace 2 SD as quickly as possible. This decision was unanimous and took all of 5 minutes.

    Rocket Test site construction was up next. After a short (by his standards), lecture from Vosem on the potential applications of rocket technology, most of us, including the esteemed Boga Filtresi, were in agreement that the construction of such a site was not only desirable, but necessary. Thus, the go-ahead was given to allocate resources to the construction of a Rocket Test site in the Kaputsin Yar area, to the South-East of Stalingrad. Our Rocket Scientists had already selected the location and proposed a rough layout, just in case we decided to go ahead and fund it. Of course, only work on the first stage of the proposed installations has been given the go-ahead. The scientist's dreams being of a much larger scale than the resources that can be made available.

    A thorough report on the state of Finnish counter-insurgency effort sparked debate about what further measures could, or should, be taken. It wasn't entirely clear who had sent in the report, all that was known was that the man was Finnish, a Major of State Security in the GUGB (Main State Security Directorate, part of the NKVD), and that he has never been seen without american aviator sunglasses. These unusual glasses (in the Soviet Union) have the effect of drawing all the attention of his interlocutors, to the point where no-one seems to remember anything about him, except for the sunglasses and the Finnish accent. For lack of remembering his strange Finnish name, most refer to him as @Finshades

    AviatorSunglassesWW2-min.jpg

    The American Aviator sunglasses of the Finnish NKVD Major of State Security.
    It was decided that a couple of small static peace-keeping units (Gar, Pol) will be trained and deployed to suppress dissent in and around factory complexes in the Finnish interior, with the additional benefit of keeping the factories out of rebel hands. These units will be part of the NKGBF and will be called NKGBF Mirotvorcheskaya Brigada (NKGBF Peace-keeping Brigade). Of course, the Grunts will be recruited amongst local communists and the officers will be from the Soviet Union itself. They will all be trained by NKGB and NKVD instructors to be most effective. The first such brigades will start training as soon as possible, with US-supplied submachine guns, a few BAR 1918s, and trusty Tokarev's.

    For testing purposes, an order was placed for 124 P-39 Interceptors. With ever more luftwaffe aeroplanes over the front, some more Fighter capacity should come in handy in maintaining our current advantage.

    Similarly, the Navy Air Fleet will be getting an entire US-built CAG with a total of 32 F4F Wildcats, 16 SBD Dauntlesses and 16 TBD Devastators, in addition to spare parts and a few training aeroplanes. The more CAGs the navy has, the bolder our surface fleet can be.

    We were just getting started at this point. Most of our 'retired' Generals believe we can sustain our efforts on the main front and make the Germans pay dearly for every inch of land, without increasing production and training rates. That means we can start planning for a second front sooner than anticipated, all thanks to American self-interested generosity.

    The rest of the order was to be geared towards the build-up of a force for a Naval invasion of Bulgaria and the creation of a Balkans front. The forces needed for a Balkans operation to have a lasting impact, and for us to have a decent shot at knocking out Bulgaria and holding on to the ground we take there are estimated as follows:
    - Marines for the initial landings on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast: At least 2 Divisions. (Half a Division was already in production before Lend-Lease)
    - 1 Mountain Rifle Corps to be taken from the Turkish Border.
    - 2 Rifle Corps to be taken from the Romanian border, and Southern Reserves. (some of these units still need to get an Art Regiment)
    - 1 Corps of fast exploitation units to grab as much ground as possible before the Axis can react in force: Armoured Cavalry or Motorised.
    - Paratroopers: 2 Square Divisions and sufficient transport planes should be available by November to support the start of the operation.
    For starters, 6.000 more Marines will start training to round out our first Marines Division.

    The issue of what shape the mobile units should take was a bit more difficult. The current rough plan is to land the mobile units as quickly as possible, immediately after grabbing the first harbour, be it in Bulgaria, or in Greece. We don't anticipate having a massive transport fleet. A total of 20 large freighters with a sealift capacity of 160.000 tonnes is all that will be available by the end of the year. This means that the units shouldn't be too heavy, 40.000 tonnes is seen as the limit. The fact that most of the equipment will have to be ordered from the united states excludes tanks, half-tracks, Armoured Cars, and Tank Destroyers. Eventually, the new Light Motorised Division (USLL) (Motx2, SP-Art) was created, and two of these new Divisions will start training, while they wait for their Studebaker 6x6 lorries, and GMC M12 Self-Propelled Guns (a 152mm variant to fit Soviet ammunition). This is a substantial order, with around 600 6x6 lorries to be delivered over little more than 100 days, and that's only the lorries organic to the divisions, plenty of 6x4 Studebakers in various configurations will be delivered to ensure the transport of supplies to the front, from railway yards and Harbours.

    The Americans have indicated that a further increase in Lend-Lease aid is likely, especially if the first deliveries go smoothly. Next up on the wishlist are 2-3 more of those Light Motorised Divisions (USLL), an Assault Aviation Regiment's worth of 64 Douglas A-20 Havoc Asault Planes. It was determined only 64 A-20s would be needed to deliver the same payboad as 124 Il-10s. (see previous report on what the Americans are offering)

    Additional capacity freed up by the delivery of even more supplies than under the current arrangement would go to the traning of more Marines and the production of more Artillery. In that regard, we will make it perfectly clear that the more Lend-Lease Aid they send our way, the sooner we will be able to open up a new front, maybe even before the new year. Of course, we didn't tell them exactly where we would open up this new front, lest they start blabbing to the Brits. We simply indicate we will be deciding where we create a second front depending on the circumstances at a future time, when sufficient forces have been amassed for such an operation.

    There is this one issue concerning an invasion of the Balkans that remains somewhat thorny, and that is the British occupation of Athina. If we invade Bulgaria with an entire Army, Axis forces in the Area will be diverted to try and stem the red tide. As a direct consequence, the British could end up grabbing most of Greece with very little effort. A few more Divisions on their part would probably be enough to do so before our forces can get close, and after that, if our operation is successful, they won't have to worry about their Northern border. The crux is that for that to turn out in the British's advantage, they need to hold on to Athina. We're all rooting for the Italians to throw them out before we start to invade, so we can take most, or all, of Greece. In the name of the Greek proletariat and international Communism, of course. As the British government wasn't invited to the Helsingör conference, they couldn't very well bring up their objections to a Soviet Invasion of Northern Africa, or their support for a Soviet operation in Bulgaria.

    In short the items that have been added to the production list are the following:
    - Garx3
    - Art, At
    - Rocket Test Site (Kaputsin Yar)
    - Gar, Pol (NKGBF)
    - Int
    - CAG
    - Marx2
    - (Motx2, SP-Art) x2
    The proposals, including the suggestion of the Soviet Union opening up a second front were well recieved by US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr. who was glad to hear the US materiel would be put to good use. A USMC Colonel who was along for the ride was excited about the prospect of Soviet Marines landing on Axis beaches. The Treasury Secretary's press officer was openly salivating at the prospect of publishing stories of Studebaker lorries filled with riflemen, rolling through Axis lands in the context of a daring operation to create a second front. He said something about such a story motivating American factory workers and increasing the nation's support for actual US boots on the ground in some ill-defined future. This, of course elicited some muffled grumbling from some of our own diplomats, especially those with close friends or family members in the Red Army.

    00-lend-lease-posters-01-ussr-min.jpg

    The press officer also showed us a brand new poster to explain to the Americans just why sending lend-lease aid to the USSR is a good idea. We are their friends...
    Soon, we were back at Copenhagen Airport, with the Americans being waved off as they boarded the C-87 "Guess Where II" and took off towards Sweden, and on to Iceland.

    We returned to the Soviet mainland in the same way we got there, in the Li-2 decoy aeroplane. As we returned to our Vologda base, a letter had arrived. It was marked 'XI':

    The 2nd of August 1942, Kyiv City Clinical Hospital No.18, 10,4°C, 3pm Moscow Time

    My dear 'Odin'

    You'll be glad to know I'm alive. To be precise, I'm lucky to be alive. To tell you how I got here, I need to go back to the morning of the 27th of July.

    I was awakened by Private Lobovskaya at 5:30, as planned. One of Sergeant Bylinkin's men brought up breakfast rations, two servings for everyone, to compensate for the previous day's meagre rations. Halfway through breakfast, things grew quiet to the West of the Church, where the Germans were positioned there wasn't a sound, as if they were all collectively holding their breath in anticipation. We were also eating breakfast as quietly as possible. The noise made by our own vehicles and troops located to the East of the church seemed almost rude in the face of such beautiful silence. Private Kovalchuk wasn't eating, not yet, he was on watch, lying on his belly, his SVT-40 right next to him, binoculars glued to his eyes, scanning the German-held area for any potential threats or targets. There was no movement. What were they doing? What was our own side doing? I wanted to get on the radio to ask Maj. General Novikov's staff what the plan was. Why weren't the Germans being pushed out of the city at dawn? But, I wanted the silence to last, for all of us to enjoy this moment of calm before the storm. Things were bound to get very loud, very soon. The Red Army hadn't brought in thousands of Artillery shells by train, and distributed them to gun crews overnight, just so they could gather dust. Outside of Kovalchuk, Private Yevtushenko was closest to the window on the Western side. He put down his breakfast, and got up, quietly. I registered he was getting up but didn't say anything, expecting he would go get something from his field bed or his pack, possibly cigarettes. I was quite hungry after that day on half rations. When I looked up to see what Yevtushenko was doing, he wasn't near his field bed. Drawn by the silence and the early morning light, he was standing right in front of the window on the German side, right next to Kovalchuk, who hadn't noticed him. Yevtushenko isn't a very tall man, but he was standing up straight. The sun wasn't high enough to blind German observers, but it was high enough for them to have enough light to notice him if they gave our tower even a cursory glance. I broke the silence and yelled.

    "Yevtushenko! Get away from the window!"
    He seemed startled, hesitating, as if I had just pulled him out of a trance. He kept standing in front of that window, turning towards me ever so slowly. Now that I look back, I'm not sure his movements were as slow as I remember them. These kinds of moments tend to be slowed down in my mind. Hoping to get him out of the way I yelled:

    "Get down!"
    But before the words had left my mouth, there was a single shot, Private Yevtushenko fell to the floor. He didn't scream, or yell, or shake, he just collapsed on the floor. He looked at me, not understanding what had just happened, then he looked down at his stomach. Blood was gushing out of the bullet-wound. Everyone in the room was just staring at the bullet-wound. I quickly yelled my orders, all the while grabbing my Nosin-Nagant, and my map of the area:

    "Lobovskaya. Try to stem the bleeding, help him out!"

    "Neyizhkaya, radio for the medic."

    "Kovalchuk. Tell me where the shot came from?"
    I laid down right next to him, ready to shoulder my rifle and fire. I was shaking as I put down the map between the two of us. All my pain and hatred, which had somewhat moved to the back of my mind recently, came flooding back. I was hungry for revenge, hungrier than ever. I only just stopped myself from opening fire on every shadow I could see in the German-controlled are of the city. People get shot in a war, and the soldier on the other side is just doing his job. When you lose that perspective entirely, you're bound to make mistakes. I thought of Sergei, and I knew I wouldn't make a mistake, I couldn't. I snapped myself out of it, Kovalchuk had started talking, he pointed at the map.

    "I think it came from that building there, on the corner. I didn't see the flash, but that's where the sound came from."
    All through the German-occupied area, engines sprang to life and orders were shouted, but I didn't really pay that much attention to the German movements.

    "Kovalchuk, I'll handle this. You keep an eye on their movements."

    "Neyizhkaya, get over here with a pencil."
    The radio operator rushed over to my side, staying low to avoid a repeat of what happened to Private Yevtushenko. He was terrified, shaking and sweating.

    "Radio 78 AP Regimental HQ directly, and tell them I'd really appreciate it if they could flatten this particular area."
    I grabbed his pencil and drew a circle wih a radius of about 30m (to scale) around the building the shot had come from.

    "If anyone asks why, tell them there are Germans there, and they have more 152mm shells than they know what to do with."
    At that moment, Sergeant medic Mikhaylova rushed into the room, followed by two privates with a stretcher.

    Kovalchuk was still looking out of the window, he suddenly grabbed his SVT-40, and yelled.

    "Captain. The Germans are making their move. Looks like the start of a full-blown assault."

    "Fire at will private."

    "Sergeant, get private Yevtushenko out of here as soon as possible."
    Kovalchuk had started shooting now. I rushed back to the window and let the medic, Lobovskaya, and the two privates from the rifle squad downstairs deal with trasporting the wounded Yevtushenko to safety. Entire German Platoons were rushing forwards methodically and agressively, lobbing grenades into our positions and charging ahead, aided by supporting fire provided by Pz IVs. It seemed to be working, despite relatively heavy casualties on thier side, they were making progress and getting dangerously close to the Church. We got in a few shots, but there were too many advancing enemies for us to make much of a dent. Then, there was a big rumble to the East, soon followed by the explosion of half a housing block, centred on the building the enemy shooter had been in. A concentrated artillery strike is a powerful thing. It was as if time had stopped and as most on the battlefield were pausing briefly to look at the devastation, others were taking advantage of the distraction. This was the moment for a Counter-Attack, IS-2's supported by a fresh Guards Rifle Company, rushed to the front to strike back. German medics rushed towards the ruins of what used to be a bunch of perfectly nice 19th century bourgeois house.

    Suddenly, there was a massive explosion right above myself and Private Kovalchuk. The air around us was burning, and bits of stone and searing shrapnel were raining down on us. Kovalchuk was stunned, I glanced up to check for more falling debris, just in time to see a massive block of stone from the window's arch starting to fall straight towards our heads. I threw my body to the side to avoid getting crushed, it was only just enough, as I found that my right leg was stuck underneath some debris, and quite possibly broken. I looked back at Kovalchuk, but there wasn't much to look at, his head had been crushed to a pulp, I had to force myself to not throw up, and I really started to feel the pain from my injuries. I looked up again, and the remaining parts of the arch above my head were still in place, rather precariously. Another hit would probably collapse the entire arch and crush me too, it's not like I could run off with my leg stuck under several blocks that had been part of the ceiling. I was lucky it wasn't crushed entirely.

    StElizabeth-min.jpg

    Approximately where the 88mm shell impacted the tower.
    I looked into the room, what remained of it anyway. Except for some superficial wounds from shrapnel, private Neyizhkaya was unharmed, at least physically. His entire breakfast was to be found on the floor, and his face was pale. I was starting to lose focus, not sure whether it was the blood loss or the exhaustion. I yelled at the radio operator to radio for help, but he was just staring at me, and at Kovalchuk's headless, motionless, body. I looked out of what used to be the window. We were winning on the ground. Our Artillery continued to shell enemy positions. The dead bodies with grey uniforms were piling up, and the fighting was quickly moving into the distance, towards the suburbs. I soon noticed the burnt-out remains of a FlaK-88 gun that was pointed squarely at the tower. It must have been moved up and camouflaged overnight with the express purpose of taking out our perch. At least no more shells would be coming our way. I don't know how long I laid there, going in and out of consciousness. The next thing I remember is the weight being lifted from my leg, and being carried down the stairs on a stretcher. Sr. sergeant Bondarchuk was talking to me the whole way to a waiting lorry. He was riling me up, telling me he was going to take over the unit, that he would do a much better job than a weak woman who can't even take an Artillery shell like a man. He made me angry, he made me want to prove him wrong. In retrospect, I do believe he did it on purpose, and that he may have saved my life by keeping my heart-rate elevated. I was in great pain, but I had to keep fighting.

    I remember waking briefly inside an aeroplane, my very own Sergei was playing cards with Major Balabanov next to the bed. Sergeant Medic Mikhaylova was also there, she was writing on a medical card, probably mine. Every vibration of the plane sent searing pain through my leg and I could feel the burns on my back, head, and arm. I think I let out a scream when we hit some turbulence, before passing out from the pain.

    KyivHospital-min.jpg

    Kyiv City Clinical Hospital No.18. Located on Bibikovsky Boulevard, the first two-story building opened in 1885, housing therapeutic and surgical clinics. A separate building housing a pathonanatomical institute was added in 1894. Finally, an extension was built in 1899 to house a library, maternity beds, gynological wards, and a water treatment facility. From the start, it was planned as a University Hospital, and it continues to be one of the teaching hospitals of the Bogomolets National Medical University, the foremost medical faculty in Ukraine.
    I woke up again in a civilian ambulance. Only Sr. Sergeant Mikhaylova was in the back with me on the way to our destination. She informed me I had arrived in Kyiv City Clinical Hospital No.18, before taking her leave. I soon learned that my recovery was the personal responsibility of Prof. Dr. O. P. Krymov, head of the surgery department at the Kiyv Medical Institute. Once in the hospital, I was injected with copious amounts of morphine to dull the pain, and told they would be operating soon. Things became a blur again, one operation faded into another. I would become lucid at odd times, with the morphine wearing off, usually in the middle of the night. After 6 nights and 5 days in the hospital, or so I was told (it felt a lot longer than that) I was starting to recover a little. The operations are over, unless there are further complications, I just need to rest now.

    I had a few visitors this morning. Sergei came by, he had been transfered back to Kyiv Air Base as the 7th battle of Lwow was still raging. Officially, he was to prepare for an influx of damaged aeroplanes engines that would be sent over from Lwow to Kyiv by train to be refurbished, but we both knew his transfer was as much of a coincidence as his previous one had been. This was confirmed by the presence of a second visitor. Major Balabanov was there to pass on the news that private Yevtushenko had had some serious complications from his gunshot wound to the gut. He was still alive, but it wasn't clear whether it was going to stay that way for very long. He also passed on a congratulatory note from Lt. General Popov, and a medal:

    Captain Goleniewsky. When I assigned you this mission, I believed you would probably not come out of it in one piece, if at all, and yet here we are. I didn't send you the cream of the crop, and yet you quickly whipped them into an effective team of snipers. I expected you and your unit to hold the Church for a few days, maybe a week, and you defended your nest for two weeks before the krauts managed to hit it with an 88mm round. One of your men has died, another two were wounded, one of them may still die. They chose to be there and fight under your command, and they were heroes. Considering the enemy knew your location, and beleived it to be a key observation post for the coordination of the city's defense, it's a miracle you didn't suffer more casualties. You should be proud of what you have achieved. Your unit killed at least 20 enemy combattants, wounding about twice that number. You have proven to be an exceptional soldier and officer, you make me proud, you make the Red Army Guards proud, you make the Soviet Union proud. You are to be awarded the order of Aleksander Nevsky for your personal courage and resolute leadership. I took the initiative to have you placed in the care of the best surgeon in the Ukranian SSR, and arranged for your friend to be transferred again. What you do once you get back on your feet is up to you, I will keep my word as far as I will pull strings for you. If you decide to take the Major's exam, I will ensure your promotion to Major. Regardless, I will help you get whichever posting you want, within reason. I wish you a speedy recovery and may you serve the Soviet Union for many years to come.
    Order-of-ALexander-Nevsky-min.jpg

    The order of Alexander Nevsky, awarded to CO's of Platoons, Company's Battalions, or Regiments, for personal courage and resolute leadership. Over 42.000 were awarded during the Great Patriotic war.
    I don't know how long it will take for me to get back to my fighting strength. I have to wear a cast for 2-3 months, and then I'll have to learn to walk again and build muscle. This isn't going to be easy. I'm having nightmares about private Kovalchuk's death. Did I do something wrong? Did I miss something? Could I have spotted the FlaK-88 before it shot the church? Should it have been my head that was crushed by that block of stone? Luckily I have Sergei, who spends every free moment he has at my bedside. Even though I can tell it pains him to see me this way, he comforts and distracts me. He tells me (often embellished) stories of badly damaged aeroplanes that get to fly again, about brave pilots who don't like talk about their exploits, about swaggering pilots who tell innumerable stories of often doubtful veracity, not to mention the gossip about romantic entanglements and the smuggling of black market goods. When he runs of out of stories to tell, we just hold hands in silence. I want to go back out there, I'm not sure when or how that will be possible, but one thing is clear: My thirst for Teutonic blood has not subsided, if anything, it has been amplified. I went through hell back in Poland, and I survived. I will get through this ordeal just fine, and I just hope the war isn't over by the time I get back on my feet.

    I hope you weren't too worried about me. Come visit sometime,

    Capt. Irina Alexandrovich Goleniewsky (aka. 11)
    I will go visit 'Odinatsat' in hospital as soon as possible. In the meantime, there is still work to be done to manage the influx of American Lend-Lease weapons and goods, and to accommodate the American Military attachés which will be arriving in the days to come. I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing Captian Goleniewsky a speedy and painless recovery,

    'Odin'
    bohomolets-surgery-O.P.Krymov-min.jpg

    O.P. Krymov was a celebrated Ukrainian surgeon, scientist, and pedagogue. He was appointed head of the department of Surgery in 1930 and remained in this position until 1955. Before becoming head of the department, he was elected by his peers as Chairman of the Kyiv Physico-medical society in 1919. In 1928 he became head of the Kyiv Surgical Society. In 1948, Krymov was elected Chairman of the Congress of Surgeons of the USSR. His research was focused on 4 areas in particular: Military field surgery, kidney disease, herniology, and the history of Ukrainian medicine.
     
    7th of August 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #204
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    The 7th of August 1942, Vologda, 7,6°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

    Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 29th of July and the 7th of August 1942,

    by 'Odin'

    Army:
    Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
    Total Army Personnel: 1.127 / 2.515.000
    Officers: 105.570 + / 111.900 needed / 123 KIA / 94,343 % +
    Active Leaders: 282 / 214 more available
    The process of replacing lost units continues, both 2. Diviziya Opolcheniya (Garx3) has started training.
    Artillery production continues, with 3 new Artillery Regiments, and another support Brigade (Art, AT) for 2. DOp (see above).
    18.000 Marines have started training, doubling the size of the two Brigades already in training to 6.000 each, with another two new Brigades starting training as well. This will result in the creation of two 12.000 strong Division of Marines.
    Lend-Lease:
    Two new peace-keeping brigades (Gar, Pol) have started training NKGBF MB 1 and MB 2 will be deployed to small Industrial areas in the Finnish interior.
    4 Light Motorised Divisions (Motx2, SP-Art) have started training while their Studebaker lorries and GMC M12 SP Guns are delivered.
    Army Leadership:
    Maj. General Tjernjakovskij, SK3, was found to have become complacent about improving his skills as a commander. He was removed from his command on the front lines (142 SD) to teach new officers about his experiences at the front. (Max Skill)
    Maj. General Sergatskov, SK2, WS, who had managed to avoid getting captured along with his former unit (2 SD), was placed in command of 142 SD, III SK, 3ya Armiya, 2nd AG, STAVKA.

    Air Force:
    No change in VVS numbers, nor Navy Air Fleet numbers for the last 10 days.
    Production of 124 Il-10s started while Air and Ground Crews started training, they will be formed into 5 ShAD.
    Lend-Lease:
    Deliveries of 124 P-39 'Airacobra' Interceptors have started, to be formed into 142 IAD-PVO.
    An order for a new CAG also went out. 32 F4F 'Wildcat', 16 SBD 'Dauntless', and 16 TBD 'Devastator' will form 11 KPA.
    64 Douglas A-20 'Havoc's were also ordered towards the formation of 28 ShAD.

    No changes to VVS nor Navy Air Fleet leadership.​

    Navy:
    No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.
    10 Convoy Escort Flotillas have started construction in the USA as Red Navy crews are being trained to use them to protect the US Lend-Lease convoys.

    Politics / International:
    Requests for the Soviet Union to purchase modern Tactical Bombers or Destroyers from the US were shot down by the State Department before they were even formally made. Something about non-existent trade relations. It is unclear whether improving trade relations would actually get us the licenses we want for a reasonable price. Do you think it's worth expanding our Diplomatic corps to find out?
    Battle of Britain
    The Air War over Britain grew quiet, maybe the Air Forces on all sides are licking their wounds, or maybe it's a direct consequence of a recent shift in Luftwaffe assets to the Soviet Front.
    A single Aerial battle over Paris was recorded, as well as 3 Luftwaffe bombing runs on US-backed resistance fighters in Guéret.
    At sea, things also calmed down as a mere 3 Allied convoys were sunk in the North Atlandic. Maybe this has something to do with a suspected reduction in US Lend-Lease aid towards the UK.

    British submarines and surface units sunk a total of 74 Axis freighters, a 25% reduction compared to the previous 10-day period.
    France
    FRA42-08-07-min.jpeg

    After several days of expansion, the French resistance has been contained by German forces. The cell around Poitiers was destroyed, and the cell around Sancoins was cornered in Guéret and battered into submission. It's only a matter of time before the province returns to German control. But that's not all, another US-supported uprising happened in Soissons, near Reims. to secret operatives, have risen up in Poitiers and in Sancoins. Yet another distraction for the Germans.
    Yugoslavia
    YSF42-08-07-min.jpeg

    The Axis is starting to contain the Yugoslav uprising in the Dubrovnik area from both the East and the West, the partisans captured Ljubinje, but lost both Metkovic and Herceg Novi, to German and Italian forces respectively. It's only a matter of time until they are crushed, unless the Allies decide to land a few Divisions in Dubrovnik, that is.
    Athens - Greece

    The British Motorised Division in Athina came under attack from the South again, and Air support was called in again. This attack was just as unsuccessful as the previous one. The RAF flew a total of 35 Ground Attack Missions on Napfolio.
    North Africa Front:
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,1
    Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 5,9 / 79,2 Fall of Tobruch.
    BNAF42-08-07-min.jpeg

    Tobruch has been conquered by the British once again, and the Axis now seems to be in full retreat, with both El Adem and Bir Hacheim falling without a fight. Too bad Britain doesn't have any Mobile forces in the area to exploit the total breakdown of Italian defences while it continues to last.
    Another 19 Bombing missions on Tobruch were flown before the city fell, none were intercepted.

    65 Italian Freighters were sunk by the Royal Navy, in the central Mediterranean. (This on top of the convoys sunk by the Red Navy in the area)
    British convoy losses around Madeira stopped entirely, but convoy losses in the Med have increased, with 100 UK freighters lost to Italian submarines and surface units.
    The RN Coastal Naval Command continued it's Port Strikes on Tunis Harbour, flying another 64 missions. This time around, the new Bristol Brigands of No. 16 RN 'Coastal Naval Command' managed to sink every single ship of 20a Flottiglia Torpediniere.
    The RAF successfully bombed Rome three times from Malta. The Halifaxes were then redeployed to Athina, from where they hit Varna twice, suffering no intercepts.
    A naval battle in the Gulf of Taranto resulted in the sinking by HMS King George V, of both 6a & 7a Squadrone Transporti (TP), with some help from our own Submarines who found themselves embroiled in the battle.

    Two more transport flotilla's were sunk by aeroplanes from our carrier Kyiv in the Eastern Ionian Sea.
    South East Asia Front
    United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,1
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,1
    Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,1
    Netherlands, France, Philippines (Government in Exile)
    SEAF42-08-07_1-min.jpeg

    The Japanese forces on Java are on the move again, taking Garut, on the Southern coast, unopposed, and circumventing the Ciliwung river. As there seem to be no Allied troops on the entire island, it is only a matter of time before the Empire of Japan manages to grab all of it. That said, with a single Division, that will take months, so there are plenty of chances for the Allies to bring in troops to stop it from happening.
    SEAF42-07-28-min.jpeg
    The second IJN landing to the South of Tarakan seems to have stalled, despite 15 more bombing missions by IJN CAGs. The Dutch Infantry Division in Tarakan shattered, but it seems the IJN Marines in Salimau ran out of supplies and were unable to make their way into the city to capture the harbour. The only thing between them and supplies is a Headquarters unit.
    SEAF42-08-07_2-min.jpeg

    SNLF seem to have taken both the British Army and the Royal Navy by surprise with a landing in Teluk Anson. The Singapore Garrison has moved North to contain the beachhead, leaving Singapore itself dangerously exposed.
    Convoy Raiding continued at a high rate, with 46 Japanese freighters adorning the seabed, and a whopping 198 Allied merchant vessels sent to the bottom.
    Allied navies struck back, attempting to disrupt IJN operations in the area, attacking Japanese convoy raiding fleets on 32 occasions.

    As a direct consequence of the fall of Teluk Anson to SNLF forces, Royal Navy ships, some of them damaged, were forced out of the harbour, and into the embrace of what can only be assumed to be a rather large combined fleet. The IJN managed to pick off several of the ships before they could slip into Singapore. The Light Cruiser HMS Durban was sunk by Kaga's Torpedo bombers. Akagi's dive-bombers took care of 34th Destroyer Flotilla (A-Class). Battleship Fuso sank the Dominion Monarch Landing Craft Flotilla using it's 356mm (14") guns. Finally, the regular troop transports of the Andes Flotilla were sent to the bottom by dive bombers from Ryujo.
    Top Left: HMS Durban was a 4.850 tonne Light Cruiser of the Danae-Class, commissioned in 1921. It's main armament consisted of 6 BL 6" (152mm) Mk. XII Naval guns on single mountings. Defence against aircraft is attempted through 2 QF 3" (76,2mm) Mk. II AA Guns and 2 QF 2-pounder (40mm) Pom-pom AA guns. Additionally, 4 triple 21" torpedo launchers round out it's armament. Propulsion is provided by 2 shafts, powered by 6 Yarrow-type water-tube boilers and Parsons geared steam turbines, providing 40.000 shp. Some armour is present, with a main belt that goes from 2" at the bow, to 3" amidships before tapering off to 1,5" at the stern. Some 1" deck plating amidships protects the most vital areas, as well as 1" of armour over the rudder. A top speed of 29 knots was decent during the Great War, but nowadays it's nothing to write home about. Historically she was scuttled as a breakwater to protect the artificial Harbour at Ouistreham (supplying allied troops in Normandy shortly after D-day.) It still lies there, at the mount of the Seine, in 11m of water.
    Top Right: The A-Class Destroyers of the Royal Navy were built between 1928 and 1931, they displaced between 1.337 and 1.540 tonnes (standard). Their main armament consisted of 4 QF 4,7" (120mm) Mk. IX Naval guns in single mounts (5 in the case of the larger flotilla leaders). 2 QF 2-pounder AA guns provide a semblance of Aerial defence, and 2 quadruple 21" torpedo launchers complete their armament. 3 Admiralty 3-drum boilers provide 34.000 shp to two propellers through a pair of Parsons geared steam turbines. This gives them a respectable top speed of 35 knots. Still not fast enough to outrun Akagi's Aichi D3A Val Dive bombers though.

    Ships42-08-07_1-min.jpg

    Bottom Left: Strathallan, a British Ocean Liner displacing 23.722 tons. It was built by VIckers-Amstrong in 1938 for the P&O Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. Requisitioned in 1940 for use as a large troop transport within the Andes Flotilla, it could carry 4.400 troops. Together, the ships of the Andes Flotilla could carry about 12.000 Infantry troops. Now they are all at the bottom of the Straits of Malacca. OTL Strathallan participated in operation Torch, she was sunk in 1942 by a U-boat.
    Bottom Right: The Aichi D3A Val dive bomber was introduced in 1940. Usually, this two-seater is armed with a pair of forward-firing 7,7mm Type 96 MGs, a single 7,7mm Type 92mm MG on rear-facing flexible mount, and a 250 kg bomb under the fuselage. Sometimes a 60 kg bomb under each wing is added. It is powered by a Mitsubishi Kinsei 54 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine producing up to 1,300 hp at ground level. This gave it a top speed of 430 km/h at 6.200 m (20.300 ft). Early prototypes suffered from a lack of directional stability in a dive, this was solved by the addition of a long dorsal fin-strake, making it a highly manoeuvrable aeroplane. Aichi D3A1's participated in the Attack on Pearl harbour and in many subsequent naval battles. OTL they were highly successful, sinking more Allied warships than any other Axis Aeroplane type. It doesn't look like TTL will be any different...
    Pacific Front
    There continues to be no substantial US involvement in the war save for massive amounts of lend-lease to the UK and the USSR.
    A small British Naval force was intercepted by IJN surface units in the Nauru-area. It's not clear exactly where, it is possible the ships were moving troops towards the British Pacific holding.
    With it's 356mm (14") guns, Kongo-Class Battleship Kirishima sunk both the 40th Destroyer Flotilla (Daring-Class), and the Fort Langley Flotilla made up of state of the art Landing craft and their mother-ships. The 69th Destroyer Flotilla (Battle-Class) was sunk by a combination of the Furutaka-Class Heavy Cruiser Kako's 8" guns and a spread of her long-lance torpedoes.

    Top left: The Battle-Class of Royal Navy Destroyers started production in 1940 (1942 OTL only a single Battle-Class Destroyer served in ww2). In it's 1941 (1943 OTL) iteration, a Battle-Class Destroyer displaces 2.480 tonnes (standard) and sports 4 QF 4,5" Mk. III guns in two front-facing superfiring twin mounts and a rear-facing QF 4,5" Mk.IV gun on a single mount. It's AA armament consists of 2 quadruple 40mm Bofors Mk.II on STAAG mounts, 1 twin 40mm Bofors Mk.V and 2 single 40mm Bofors Mk.VII. 2 quintuple 21" tubes for Mk.IX torpedoes and a Squid Anti-Submarine mortar system round out it's capabilities. Two 3-drum Admiralty boilers provide 50.000 shp to 2 shafts, through 2 Parsons geared steam turbines, giving it a top speed of over 35,7 knots.
    Top right: HMS Glenearn, a Large LSI, can carry up to 24 LCA's which can be lowered into the water at a moment's notice to deploy the ca. 1.500 troops in it's hold to a nearby beach, protecting them from small-arms fire on the way there. A flotilla of 10-12 of these vessels is needed to land 6 Brigades of Infantry. Of course, these ships are rather defenceless to Naval gunfire.

    Ships42-08-07_2-min.jpg

    Bottom Left: Kirishima is a 32.160 tonne (Standard displacement) Kongo-Class Fast Battleship commissioned in 1915 as a Battlecruiser, and rebuilt in 1936 as a Fast Battleship. Her main armament consisted of 8 Vickers 14" Guns in 4 twin turrets. The secondary armament consisted of 16 6" (152mm) Type 41 guns in twin turrets. An array of 8 12,7 cm/50 dual purpose (nominally) guns in single turrets and countless 25mm Type 96 AA Guns complete it's armament. Since 1936, 36 Yarrow-type boilers provide 64,000 shp through 4 steam turbines and 4 propellers. In it's post-1936 configuration, it sports an 8" main belt, 1,5-2,3" deck plating, with an added 4" above the ammunition storage, and 10" turret armour on the main turrets. With the added armour, it's current top speed is estimated at over 30 knots.
    Bottom Right: Kako, a 7,100 tonne Furutaka-Class Heavy Cruiser, was commissioned in 1926. She was extensively rebuilt in 1936-1937. Her current main armament consists of 6 8" (20,3 cm) naval guns in twin turrets (up from 6 20cm single turrets), 4 12cm Type 10 dual purpose guns in single mounts provide additional firepower against both aerial and surface targets. 4 twin 25mm Type 96 AA guns and 4 twin 24" (61cm) torpedo tubes with matching Type 93 'long lance' torpedoes complete it's armament. Power is provided by 12 Kampon boilers, which can send up to 102.000 shp to 4 propellers through 4 geared steam turbines. Being a Heavy Cruiser, Kako has some armour: A 3" main belt, and a 1,4" armoured deck. Her top speed is similar to that of the Omaha-class USN cruisers at a heady 34,5 knots.
    The Convoy war intensified with Japanese submarines sinking 199 British freighters, mostly just to the East of Nauru.
    Allied convoy raiding increased exponentially, with 237 Axis merchant vessels sunk in the Pacific and another 34 to the East of Cuba.

    Industry:
    Working Industrial Capacity / available domestic capacity / available capacity with Lend-Lease: 233 = / 425 = / 586 + We have lost Stanislawow (1 IC), and Riga (1 IC). Factories in Copenhagen have finally started some limited production, compensating the losses.
    Level 1 fortifications were completed in Khabarovsk, work has started on Coastal fortifications in Slagelse (Level 1)
    Lend-Lease aid has started flowing in, with some interruptions, the average over the last 10 days was 58 IC. As the shipments only started on the 3rd of August, and the amount of aid has increased, this number will go up dramatically. There have been 4 days were aid was delivered for a total of 580 ICdays.

    IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
    Upgrades: 100,50 / 100,79
    Reinforcement: 30,50 / 30,58 - The need for reinforcements varies wildly but remains over 20 IC.
    Supplies: 76,00 / 59,00 + Supply stockpiles were starting to get dangerously low, so more supplies were ordered from the US.
    Production: 343,84 / 343,86 + Lend-Lease aid has allowed us to nearly double our total production.
    Consumer Goods: 35,16 / 35,16 + Some of the Lend-Lease aid trickles down to the population.
    Stockpiles:
    Energy: Maximum tonnes +
    Metal: 98.732 tonnes -
    Rares: 48.852 tonnes +
    Crude: 96.111 cubic metres -
    Supplies: 29.113 tonnes -
    Fuel: 92.808 barrels -
    Money: 1.358 +​

    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 / 0
    Reserves: 6
    Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,10 (a new spy every 65 days)​

    Research:
    No completed research projects, no new research started.
    Leadership distribution:
    Research: 19,50 (-0,17)
    Espionage: 0,10 (-0,28)
    Diplomacy: 2,06 (-0,04)
    Officers: 12,00 = (72 Officers/day)
    Total: 33,66 (-0,49) Loss of Riga and Stanislawow.

    Statistics:
    National Unity: 83,243 +
    Neutrality: 0,00 =
    Dissent: 0,00 =
    Manpower:
    Available: 2.082.000 (-90.000) We have to supply the men to use all of that Lend-Lease equipment.
    Men To reinforce(need): 7.620
    Men To mobilise(need): See above
    Monthly gain: 70.600 Men - (1 fully mobilised Infx3, Art, AT Division every 5,4 days)​
    Party Popularity:
    - Communist Party: 61 (+3)
    - Trotskyite: 11 (-1)
    - Bukharinite: 5 =

    - Social-Revolutionary: 4 =
    - Trudoviks: 3 =
    - Kadets: 4 (+2)
    - Octobrists: 0 (-5)

    - Tsarists: 7 (-1)
    - NTS: 1 =
    - POA: 5 (+3)
    Despite the recent start of Lend-Lease aid, Capitalist inclinations are at an all time low, the Octobrists having fallen entirely out of favour. Over three quarters of the population supports some kind of Socialism, with over 60% supporting Stalin's Communist Party. On the right, the Tsarists lost out in favour of the National Socialists. I smell German spies.
    No changes in Party Organisation
    This Information is accurate on the morning of the 7th of August 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

    'Odin'​
     
    11th of August 1942, 'Odin': GPW 10-day Report #5
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    11th of August 1942, Vologda, 2,6°C, 6pm Moscow Time
    Report on the Great Patriotic War between 6pm on the 2nd and 6pm on the 11th of August 1942.

    Before we get to the overview, I have to tell you about this recent development:

    I got up early yesterday morning, packed my bags and left for Kyiv at 7am. I took the train at Vologda station, and by 4pm, I arrived in Moscow. As I stepped off the train, an NKVD officer motioned me to follow with him. He let me sit up front with him in his GAZ-M1 as we raced through traffic. As both the car, and his driving, were tame compared to 'Odinatsat' and her modified GAZ, I was rather unfazed, in fact I was getting a bit angry that I might miss my flight. Our destination turned out to be 'Lubyanka', the charming headquarters of the NKVD. When I say 'charming' I really mean the opposite, the new part looked imposing, if you only looked with one eye, obscuring the fact that the old building was still there, taking up the space needed to actually complete the new building. We were waved through at the gate and came to a halt in the inner courtyard of the 'tallest building in Moscow'. I was lead, through empty stairways and corridors, to a large office on the third floor, overlooking the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky (aka. Iron Felix, founder of Cheka, predecessor to the NKVD). The officer opened the door, saluted, and promptly walked off. I entered and closed the door behind me. In front of me stood the powerful desk of the People's Commissar for Internal Affairs, and behind it, a large swivel-chair with it's back towards me. I cleared my throat to indicate my presence, and it swivelled around, revealing not People's Commissar Andriy Panfilov, but 'Shest'.

    "Excuse my theatrics, I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity. Andriy is away on a business trip right now, he'll be back in a few days."​
    "That's all fine and dandy, but what about my trip? I was looking forward to spending some time with 'Odinatsat'"​
    "I'm afraid you can't go to Kyiv right now, it's too risky."​
    "What do you mean, too risky, it's hundreds of kilometres from the front?"​
    "It's not the Germans I'm worried about, it's the Americans. Remember how we agreed to let Liaison Officers and military observers into the country as part of the lend-lease deal, and also to give them access to a lot of our war effort. As we might have guessed, some of them are spies, and the NKVD has been working overtime looking into all these new American officials that are arriving in the Soviet Union since we signed that deal. Well, guess who's turned up in Leningrad today, with only 5 minutes' notice? General Markkur, in person."​
    "What's he doing here?"​
    "Well, officially he's here to liaise between the OSS and the GRU's Military intelligence branch. Sharing military intelligence, avoiding and mitigating conflicts that may occur between GRU and OSS operatives out in the field, maybe attempt to set up joint operations, if he's feeling particularly brave. Unofficially, he's probably setting up a network of spies in the Soviet Union as we speak. Most of them will probably stay dormant as long we have a common enemy, but they'll be there when he needs them, unless we find them faster than he can replace them, which seems rather unlikely, despite our massive budget, and our best efforts. Of course they'll all be perfectly deniable, you know, 'rogue operatives', 'businessmen', 'diplomats', we all know how that works."​
    "All right, but that still doesn't explain why I should be worried about going to Kyiv. Are you saying I shouldn't travel at all? In my own country?"​
    "No, of course not. You just have to be careful, even more so than before. With Markkur in the country, you can't risk visiting 'Odinatsat'. She's bound to soon grow an american tail, if she hasn't already, and with the injuries she sustained it's unlikely she'll be able to shake it. The General believes she was, or still is, a high level spy. If he's feeling particularly bold, he may even visit her himself. As her former handler, and a spy myself, I would play into Markkur's hands, try to get her close to him. Our best shot at figuring out where his agents are, and what he's planning, is to use a top operative he already knows, and to eventually make him believe she's willing to defect, to play the game on his team. Whether she's willing to work with us again, or not, I'm carefully regulating who comes into contact with her, and working overtime to ensure there isn't the slightest chance they could find out about the Committee's existence. How about some tea?"​

    We had some tea, and talked about the good old days, before relocating to a safe house for the night. I returned to Vologda today, being extra careful no one was paying attention to me.

    Lubyanka-min.jpg
    'Lubyanka', the headquarters of the NKVD, then of the KGB, and nowadays the FSB. It was colloquially referred to as 'the tallest building in Moscow', not because of it's height, but because one could see 'Siberia' from it's basement. The building was only 'completed' in 1983, making the façade into the imposing and symmetrical whole that was intended in 1940. The un-completed version does offer an interesting comparison of late 19th century Moscow architecture with the monumental Stalinian brand of Neo-Classisism (aka 'Columns for the people'). The original building was built in 1898 as the HQ of an insurance company. It was a luxurious office building in a somewhat muted neo-baroque style.​



    Arctic Front (XXXIV GSK / 1st AG / Leningrad HQ):
    1AG42-08-11-min.jpg
    Our mountaineers continue their Arctic march to plant the flag and assert our control of the Norwegian arctic regions. Meanwhile the rest of XXXIV GSK has moved to Kirkenes, ready to be sea-lifted. They anxiously await their next mission, whenever it will start.​

    Finland (NKGBF / Leningrad HQ):
    FPF42-08-11-min.jpg
    After 24 hours of planning, 1 VDD was para-dropped into Kärsämäki at 9am on the 3rd of August, right on top of the '1st Finnish Partisans', as well as 3 HQ's, including the 1st Army Group. Yes, these rebels were dreaming big, with barely enough men for a small Corps, they created an Army group, commanded by Field Marshall Nenonen, a veteran of the Winter War. The VDV had the last laugh when they dropped in on the Field Marshall's breakfast. It took nearly 2 days for our paratroopers to root out the rebels and their entire command structure. By 4pm on the 4th, the last shot had been fired, 15 paratroopers lost their lives in the operation, about 3.350 prisoners were taken, and 150 insurgents were killed. 1 VDD is now marching towards Oulu Air Base to recuperate and to allow it to be rapidly deployed again. 2 VDD has been transferred to Leningrad and will remain in reserve, ready to deploy at 24 hour's notice, for now.​
    The NKGBF managed to Isolate the '5th Finnish Partisans' in Suolahti, and when 1 NKGBFKB moved to attack them at 4am on the 8th, they barely resisted, no NKGBF personnel was hurt, 3 enemies of the state were killed and 3.000 more were imprisoned. This morning, SrMaj.GB (State Security) Skvortsov mounted brigade was at it again, moving to pacify Varkaus. This operation is still ongoing.​

    Denmark (XXXIII SK / Leningrad HQ):
    DK42-08-11-min.jpg
    A short probing attack by GenDiv. Calcagno's 32a DF (Divisione Fanteria) on Slagelse at 5am on the 2nd was easily shrugged off, as was a 3 hour long attack on the 11th. In total 400 Italians died in the strait-crossing attempts, for 2 of our riflemen. Our position in Denmark remains strong.​
    Latvia Sector (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):
    "I may not have been born here, but many of you have. This is our city, and we will try our hardest to defend it, no matter the odds."​
    MajGen. Garnov after his 6.000 strong Garrison found itself alone, defending Riga from King tigers and German regulars.​
    Before dawn on the 2nd of August Genlt. Praun's 61 ID (Infx2, Art, AT) charged into Bauska (2), right into two dug-in Rifle Divisions under the command of MajGen. Malyshev. Despite our 2-1 numerical advantage, Praun stubbornly tried to press home the attack, regardless of casualties.​
    Riga (1) came under attack on the 3rd, Genlt. von Thoma's King Tigers were knocking at the gates of the capital of the Latvia SSR. The city seemed well guarded by 4 dug in Rifle Divisions and a 6.000 strong Garrison. With a 6-1 numerical superiority in our favour, 1 SPzD looked unlikely to get far. Of course, numbers can be deceiving. 2 of the Divisions were spent from previous combat and were unable to actually contribute to the battle. They soon started retreating, and by 7pm, 3 hours into the fighting, all 4 Rifle Division were withdrawing. Only MajGen. Garnov's 16 GarD wasn't swept up in the panic.​
    With neither Anti-tank weapons nor Artillery, the now outnumbered Garrison fought a desperate fight, delaying the inevitable fall of Riga by another 21 hours. No reinforcements were ever forthcoming as the only nearby combat-ready Divisions were already fighting a bloody battle in Bauska (2). There, the fighting intensified, first as a violent German Shock Attack rendered Soviet Delaying actions ineffective, and then as 16 PzGrD (Mec, Mot, AC, TD, SP Art) reinforced Praun's stubborn meat-grinder, swinging the balance in the enemy's favour. By 9pm on the 4th the attackers withdrew, leaving behind over 1.500 of their comrades for 700 Riflemen.​
    A Soviet probe into Riga at 9pm on the 5th showed the King Tigers remain firmly in control of the city, it was called off within the hour.​
    LAT-min.jpg
    Sperrle's Ju-88's hit the defenders of Bauska early on the 3rd. They were hit hard by our own Yak-7s (1) shortly after dropping their bombs. Over 90 German planes were shot down, for 44 of our own. On the 4th, Mahnke attempted to do the same, only for his planes to be intercepted before they even reached our lines, losing 60 planes in the process, for only 20 of our own.​
    Goryunov's Il-10's flew a bombing run on Jurmala on the 4th. Immediately after dropping their bombs, they were pounced upon by nearly 300 Bf-109E's. The escorting La-7's attempted to protect the Assault Bombers, until Rychagov's Yak-7's arrived to chase Klepke's interceptor's away. 70 Soviet aeroplanes were lost.​
    Once Riga was taken over by the Germans, Astakhov's Yak-7s were on high alert to intercept any Axis aeroplanes that redeployed to the city's Air Base. They were rewarded with the arrival of KG zbV 9, a wing of brand new 6-engined Me-323D transport planes. After they were detected by the Radar stations in Vitsyebsk and Leningrad, the Yak-7s were srcambled, intercepting and shooting down 8 of Oberst Wever's 28 lumbering Giants.​

    Lithuania Sector 1 (North of the Meme) (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):
    "The krauts may think they have exhausted us, that we are too tired to fight. They don't know who they're dealing with. They do not get to decide when this is over. I do."​
    MajGen. Gordov as the 13th Battle of Panevezys starts (5 & 6)​
    The 6th Battle of Kaunas (1) finally came to an end at 2am on the 2nd of August. After 7 days and 7 nights of continuous fighting, the capital of the Lithuania SSR remained in our hands. Both sides rotated units in and out: 4 Soviet Divisions, including 16 KavD (L Arm, Mecx2, AC), and 3 German units, participated in the meat-grinder. The result was nearly 4.000 dead Germans for less than 1.200 Red Army losses. Only MajGen. Remizov's 78 SD fought for the entire duration of the battle. The Soviet Commander steadfast and calm demeanour, and that of his Division throughout the battle certainly contributed to the victory. Even when other units started withdrawing, Remizov, and his men stood strong, inspiring others to do the same. Buoyed by this success, a two-pronged mechanised attack on Panevezys (2) was launched an hour later. The province was strongly held by 1 ID (Infx3) and 4 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Eng), both at full strength. MajGen. Golubev had more than enough firepower to deal with the opposition. T-34's, GAZ-60 Half-tracks, GAZ-30 Armoured Cars, and Su-100 Tank-Destroyers were all part of 2ya Tankovaya Armiya's 3-Division charge.​
    After 4 days, the German defenders broke under the weight of Soviet steel, and Panevezys was ours at 6am on the 6th of August. Casualties were around 1.000 on both sides, and both 8 TD and 16 KavD were in a rather disorganised state. A mere two hours later, GenLt. von Pfeffer-Wildenbruch's 143 ID attacked Panevezys (5). On the 7th, the Germans managed to foil MajGen. Gordov's Delaying tactics by using shock attacks. It took until 1pm on the 9th before the German Infantry stopped coming. Casualties were heavily in our favour, with over 1.200 German casualties for less than 500 of our own. However, our forces in Panevezys had not been able to regain their organisation and properly dig in. The Wehrmacht struck again one hour later, the 13th battle for Panevezys (5 & 6) saw 2 fresh German Divisions, including 14 PzD, and a small Hungarian force attack Gordov's disorganised defenders from 2 directions. By this time 8 TD had been fighting for 7 days, and 16 KavD for 10 days, with mere hours between successive battles. Despite the strain, both Divisions held on until 3am on the 10th, when Gordov called quits and both units started withdrawing in good order.​
    Further to the South, a pair of bold Red Army attacks were initiated on the 7th, pushing the front away from Kaunas. MajGen. Beloborodov's 9 TD (Arm, Motx2, TD, Eng) found only GenMaj. Eicke's 6.000-strong Kavallerie-Kommando holding Jurbarkas (3). MajGen Kulik had a tougher job, dislodging three German Infantry Divisions from Ariogala (4), with only 198 MSD (Motx3, TD, Eng). Of course, Kulik was pinning the German Infantry in place, allowing Beloborodov's tankers to take their time and root out the German horsemen. MajGen. Eicke withdrew his forces at 3pm on the 8th, having suffered over 500 casualties (not counting the horses), for less than 40 lost comrades. That evening Jurbarkas was ours again. The cost of the victory only became clear at 9pm when Kulik called off the attack into Ariogala. Outnumbered 2-1, his Division had been decimated, losing over 1.100 men in 2 days, for less than 330 German KIAs.​
    LITH1-min.jpg
    Our Interceptors had heir work cut out for them in this sector. On the 8th, Bülowius's Ju-88's were intercepted over Panevezys (1), by Astakhov's Yak-7's, before they could drop their bombs. The damage was extensive with close to 90 German planes shot down for 32 of our own.​
    Kaunas was hit twice (2 & 3). First, it was hit by Kesselring's bombers, which managed to drop their explosive cargo on the city's defenders before they were intercepted by Vorozheikin's IV IAK. 70 German planes were downed for 23 lost Yak-7s. The second attempt was even less successful for the Luftwaffe, as Stumpff's Ju-88's didn't even reach their targets before they were intercepted by Vorozheikin's fighters. Over 110 enemy aircraft were taken out in exchange for 38 friendlies.​
    Our Assault Bomber Divisions were not bothered by Luftwaffe intercepts in this sector. They flew plenty of missions, Goryunov's V ShAK over Panevezys, Rudenko's IV ShAK over Raseinai, and Kutakhov's III ShAK over Ariogala.​

    Lithuania Sector 2 (South of the Memel) (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):
    Alytus (1) was taken by Gebrionnek's Tank force (81 TD & 2 GvTD) by 3pm on the 2nd of August. Without any anti-tank equipment, GenLt. Hube's gebirgsjäger were mauled as they attempted to hold of our T-34s for 1.5 days, they lost over 1.100 men, for 124 of our own. A 10 hour long counterattack on Alytus (2) by a Bulgarian Cavalry Division was shrugged off for the price of 2 Soviet casualties, and 350 Bulgarians.​
    LITH2-min.jpg
    In the last two days (9 Aug & 10 Aug), our TB-3 Heavy Bombers were active in this area, destroying stockpiles and Infrastructure in Mariampolé as part of a plan to cut off supplies to Axis troops North of the river Memel. 4 logistical strike missions have been flown, they are ongoing.​
    Astakhov's 494 Yak-7's intercepted Genmaj. Fisser's Bf-109E's over Kaisiadorys. It's not clear where the heavily depleted Jagdgeschwader 4 was headed. Of the 44 Messerschmitt's, 24 were shot down for the loss of 8 Yak-7's.​

    Poland Sector 1 (Nyoman/Memel bend) (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):
    "Sure, they have King Tigers, but we have thousands of riflemen who will stop them, or die trying. Not one step back"​
    Maj.Gen. Kazakov as our casualties started mounting in the 4th battle of Lida (1)​
    The Wehrmacht attacked Lida (1) at dawn on the 5th. The area was held by three Rifle Divisions lead by MajGen. Moskalenko. Genmaj. Phleps's attacking force was more than a match, it consisted of 5 sPzD, SSD (mot) 'Wiking' and 32 ID. 19 SD was in no state for a prolonged fight, and shortly after the battle started, worsening the odds. The next afternoon, Moskalenko's own 7 MSD called it quits, and by the morning of the 7th, the Red Army had abandoned Lida, leaving behind nearly 2.000 dead riflemen, having inflicted fewer than 800 German casualties.​
    On the 9th, a strong counterattack into Lida (4) was launched from Iwje to it's east. Two fresh Tank Divisions under MajGen. Galitski hit them before they had a chance to dig in.​
    As all three enemy Divisions were defending Lida, Mosty (2), to it's west, was weakly held by 10 Gly, a small Hungarian Infantry Division. MajGen Zakharov exploited this weakness, attacking northwards across the Memel river with 2 Motorised Rifle Divisions. In three hours, the Hungarians were routed, having lost over 420 of their number, 7 times more than our losses. Once the area was occupied, a brief counterattack by Bulgarian Cavalry (3) was easily shrugged off with minimal losses.​
    With Mosty in Soviet hands, the Enemy Divisions in Lida found themselves in a precarious situation. They were slowly losing the battle, and they were down to a single avenue to retreat into. To secure their way out, both 5 sPzD and SSD (mot) 'Wiking' started their withdrawal from Lida at 10am today (11th). The remaining 32 ID remained to fight a desperate rearguard action against 7 GvTD and 3 TD. By 3pm, Lida was ours. The victory cost us nearly 1.000 lives for over 1.200 of the enemy.​
    As well as things went here, it was somewhat surprising that 2nd Army Group didn't organise an attack to close the pocket, especially once Mosty had been won. Both 5 sPzD and SSD (mot) 'Wiking' could have been trapped in Lida and forced to surrender, but now they are very likely to get away to fight another day.​
    POL1-min.jpg
    Our Assault Bombers flew 7 missions, bombing the main enemy force, first in Mosty, on the 5th, and then in Lida, starting on the 9th. Kuthakov's III ShAK was intercepted over Lida by Klepke's Bf-109E's on the 9th, losing over 60 planes before Vorozheikin's Yak-7's came to chase the enemy away. 40 Messerschmitt's were shot down, and Novikov's II ShAK took over the bombing missions which were barely interrupted.​

    Poland Sector 2 (Nyoman-Prypyats) (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):
    "We will attack the krauts from three sides, we will evict them quickly, and we will be very violent."​
    MajGen. Fillipovsky at the start of the 5th battle of Domonovo (6).​
    Shortly after the previous report was filed, 1 GvTD and 163 MSD charged into Zelva (1) to push the front away from the Air Base in Nowogrodek. The Soviet Assault was met with a powerful counter-attack. The tactical advantage Genlt. Guderian gained allowed him to stall MajGen. Kirponos's advance despite our advantage in numbers and equipment. It took over 2 days, and close to 400 Soviet casualties to force the Germans to withdraw. They did lose over 900 of their number.​
    Once 1 GvTD took control of Zelva, they were hit by Genlt. Hilpert's SSD (mot) 'Reich' at 9am on the 5th (5). They relented after 12 hours of fighting. SSD (mot) 'Wiking' probed our defences at noon on the 8th, immediately withdrawing after the first, disproportionate, losses on their side. (5)​
    Domonovo saw a lot of back and forth. At 11am on the 4th, a 4-day battle for the province (2) ended in victory and MajGen. Koroteev's 32 KavD rushed to occupy the province. Genlt. Hartmann's 9 ID had held on for a lot longer than expected, using the forest to it's advantage. Casualties were only 6-5 in our favour.​
    As soon as our Armoured Cavalry took up positions in those same forests, they were hit (4) by Hilpert's fresh 75 ID, including Armoured Cars and PaK-43 AT Artillery. By noon on the 5th, it became clear that Koroteev's men were too exhausted to hold off the Germans for too much longer, and they withdrew in good order, yielding the area to the Wehrmacht.​
    The respite was rather short for the German Infantry in Domonovo. At 2pm on the 7th, a massive coordinated attack (6) by 4 full-strength Motorised Rifle Divisions, from 3 directions, hit Hilpert's force (75 ID and 162 ID). MajGen. Filippovsky pressed home the attack, and two days later, our forces had won a clear victory, inflicting nearly 1.600 casualties, for fewer than 500 of our own.​
    It's still not over as 131 MSD was attacked in Domonovo as soon as it got there, this battle is ongoing.​
    MajGen. Chibisov hit Genlt. Koch-Erpach's 18 ID in Konczyce (3) at 10 pm on the 3rd. The Assault, executed by 2 Armoured Cavalry Divisions was expertly countered by a German Counter-Attack, delaying the Soviet victory until 11am the next morning.​
    POL2-min.jpg
    Golovanov's Yak-4's provided a little Air Support, hitting Konczyce on the 4th and Swislocz, in support of the defence of Domonovo, on the 5th.​
    Vorozheikin's III IAK had the doubtful honour of being the first VVS formation to encounter Slovak aeroplanes. The AERO A.304 bombers of 1 BombPluk, commanded by Gen. II Treidy Reznak were intercepted over Domonovo before they had a chance to drop any of their bombs. The obsolescent and lightly armed Slovak aeroplanes were easy pickings for our Yak-7's, and 36 of 112 enemy planes were downed before the Slovaks could break away. 2 Yak-7's were lost.​
    Poland Sector 3 (Prypyats-Zakhidnyu Buh) (3 AG & Arm AG / Brjansk HQ):
    The Battle for Zamosc, which had started off as an easy defensive action against Genlt. Midilev's Bulgarian Infantry, became increasingly difficult for MajGen Bondarev's 169 SD. First, on the 1st, 6 ID attacked their flank from Rawa Ruska, then, at 10pm on the 2nd, a German Garrison unit joined in from Krasnystaw. The next morning Bondarev called it quits at 9am on the 3rd of August, as his position had become untenable and no reinforcements were forthcoming. Casualties were remarkably even, with both sides losing about 760 men in 4 days of combat.​
    After our forces walked into Luboml, and Zamosc was lost, the former was attacked this morning from three directions. MajGen Dementev's 2 Rifle Divisions are holding the attackers at bay as I write this report.​
    MajGen. Petin had more luck with his attack on Kowel, starting at 10pm on the 1st. Both sides were rather evenly matched, but the tone was quickly set by 130 SD's commander when he ordered shock attacks to effectively counter MGenlt. Förster's delaying tactics. In the dense forests, 2 ID (mot) was also unable to bring it's advantage in mobility to bear, and after 4 days of struggle, victory was ours. Casualties were slightly in our favour (480 vs 570).​
    POL3-min.jpg
    Golovanov's Yak-4's hit Chelm three times during the Battle of Zamosc.​
    Zhigarev's Il-10's have started bombing Zamosc in support of the ongoing battle of Luboml.​

    Poland Sector 4 (Zakhidnyu Buh-Dniestr) (3 AG / 4 AG / Brjansk HQ):
    "We may be tired, we may be facing Panzers with no tanks of our own, but we will not give up lightly. Make them pay for every m of ground they gain!"​
    MajGen. Nikishin as the 4th battle of Zolkiew starts (3).​

    It took until 1pm on the 2nd of August for MajGen. Nikishin to throw in the towel and stop his attack on Przemysl (1). The area was held by 11 PzD, 4 LeichteD, and 8 ID, under the command of Genlt. Heinrici. 122 SD was never going to make a dent. Sadly it took the lives of over 900 riflemen and those of 260 German defenders, for Nikishin to realise the futility of the operation.​
    The Wehrmacht's response came at 10pm on the 4th with an attack on Zolkiew (2), held by 122 SD and 72 GvSD. Luckily, the attack consisted of only Genlt. Strauss's own 6 ID.​
    After 2 days, the Germans halted the attack, having suffered nearly 1.000 casualties for 370 of ours.​
    Our men in Zolkiew were allowed no rest as 9 PzD attacked at 1am on the 7th (3). 122 SD broke that evening, leaving MajGen Rostmistrov's Guards Riflemen to hold the line. They were doing just fine, until 5am on the 10th, when 183 ID reinforced Genlt. Schaal's attack. The Red Army Guards pulled out of Zolkiew at 10am, leaving behind nearly 1.200 comrades for 960 German dead.​
    Zolkiew was quickly occupied by 10 ID (mot), and at 2pm today, another attack on the area, by 49 SD, started.​
    The ongoing battle of Sambor (see below) provided an opportunity to hit the Axis forces in Jaworow (4) while they were distracted. A three-Division attack was orchestrated by MajGen Novoselski, starting at 2am on the 8th. Only Genlt. Jodl's 2 sPzD tried to shield 5 PzD and 11-va ZP (Bulgarian Infantry) to allow them to continue fighting for Sambor, but they both broke ranks and pulled out of both battles by 3pm. On the 9th, Novoselski ordered a massed Assault to press home the attack, but Jodl foresaw the move and a German Counter-Attack bought them some more time. It took another 2 days before the battle was won.​
    POL4-min.jpg
    LtGen. Av. Kallinin's Heavy bombers continued hitting the Infrastructure in Jaworow until the morning of the 3rd of August, destroying stockpiles of fuel and supplies along the way.​
    I ShAK, LtGen. Av. Zhigarev's Assault Bomber Corps struck Przemysl, then, initially in support of the battle of Sambor, they started flying missions over Jaworow on the 3rd. They, keep this up until the evening of the 8th, killing over 2.000 Axis troops on the ground.​
    The Yak-4's of LtGen. Av. Golovanov chipped in on the 6th with two bombing runs over Rawa Ruska, in support of the defence of Zolkiew. On the 10th, Zhigarev's Il-10s also bomb Rawa Ruska.​
    A Hungarian attempt to bomb Rohatyn was intercepted by LtGen Av. Rog's Yak-7's before they could do anything, 10 Ju-86's were shot down with no losses of our own.​

    Hungary Sector 1 (West) (3 AG / 4 AG / Odessa HQ):
    "Tens of thousands of our comrades are counting on us to keep their lifeline open. We are not afraid of superior numbers, we are not afraid of the enemy, whether German, or Hungarian or Bulgarian. We will slow them down to a crawl, ambushing them at every corner, we must hold until reinforcements arrive. Failure is not an option."​
    MajGen. Krutikov as Sambor (3) comes under attack from both sides.​

    24 Gly (Hun. Infantry), disorganised from the preceding attack, arrived in Drohobycz (1) at 2pm on the 2nd, it was chased away in less than an hour. Inexplicably, no Soviet Divisions were moved into the area as the attackers were ordered to stay in Turka. The empty province was soon filled by 34 ID, a fresh German Division, and when, at noon on the 6th, a rifle Division finally attempted to move into Drohobycz from Skole, they were greeted by gunfire, and quickly turned tail. A unnecessary Hungarian spoiling attack on Skole at 4pm, (2) achieved little before it was called off after 2 hours. Another probe into Drohobycz at 5pm revealed that nothing had changed. Skole (2) was hit again by the Hungarian Army on the 11th. Both sides had over 30.000 men, but superior tactics and equipment won out as a bold Counter-Attack by our Riflemen managed to blunt the Hungarian Assault in a mere 2 hours.​
    Confident of the strength of their position, and hoping to cut of part of our Hungarian front from supplies, Genlt. Volkmann attacked Stryj (4) with two Divisions, his own 34 ID, and 215 ID, at 10am on the 10th. They were pretty equally matched by GenMaj. Leselidze's 2 Rifle Divisions. 74 SD was embroiled in a battle for Stanislawow (see HUN 2), but as that looked like a done deal, the unit was pulled back by 7pm to concentrate on the defence. With this in mind, a three-Division flanking attack from Skole into Drohobycz (5) started today (11th) at 1pm, forcing the Germans to pull out of Stryj an hour later, the fighting in Stryj cost almost 400 Soviet lives and over 650 German ones. The flanking attack was immediately called off as an all-out attack was considered too costly, and not a moment too soon. Skole came under attack again at 3pm, this latest probe was no different from all the others, lasting a mere 3 hours, casualty numbers were low and 2-1 in our favour.​
    Like Stryj, Sambor was another key province as it was the last remaining connection between the The Southernmost units of 3 AG and the rest of the front. MajGen. Krutikov's 42 SD was defending the area from a 2-Division attack coming from Jaworow (3), to the North-West. Despite their inferior numbers, and a lack of tanks, they were doing well. They suffered a reverse when an unexpected enemy breakthrough on the 2nd caught their ambushing parties while they were still setting up their ambushes, but they held on and kept up the fight. Things became direr as the men were becoming ever more exhausted. On the 7th, 34 SD joined in the fighting, attacking from the South. Luckily, this time the ambushes were ready and primed, and a series of two-pronged Shock attacks were blunted with relative ease. Thanks to relentless Aerial raids and an attack on Jaworow (see above), Genlt. Curtze was finally forced to call off the attack at 3pm on the 8th. 42 SD had not only held back up to 2.5 times it's own number, including King Tiger tanks, for more than 7 days, but it had inflicted close to 1.900 Axis casualties, losing about 1.000 men. These riflemen deserved rest and reinforcements, but they got neither. At 10pm, they were hit again, this time by Genlt. Völckers' 216 SD, and from the South. In the morning they could do no more, and at 8am, the battered 42 SD withdrew from Sambor. The situation looked dire, but now that the defenders had been broken, reinforcements were on their way. MajGen. Vatutin managed to move his 3 TTGvD, including it's IS-2's, into Sambor before Völckers' Division could take control. 216 SD immediately attacked Vatutin's Guards who hadn't gotten the time to dig in, and another vicious battle started in the woods of Sambor. On the second day of the battle, Vatutin used his IS-2's to great effect throwing back a large-scale German Assault with a powerful combined-arms counter-attack. By 2pm, the German Infantrymen could give no more, they retreated, leaving behind nearly 500 of their comrades. 10 TTGvD lost over 300 of it's own, suggesting the battle was rather close-fought.​
    HUN1-min.jpg
    On the 5th of August, at 7am, Hungarian Ju-87 'Stuka's were intercepted over Sambor, on their way to our lines. LtGen. Av. Rog's VI IAK had a field day, shooting down 45 of the 107 unescorted dive-bombers, losing a single Yak-7 due to overenthusiastic aerobatic celebrations by one particular pilot.​
    Lt.Gen. Av. Golovanov's Yak-4's bombed the German Infantry in Drohobycz on the 7th-8th of August, and again on the 10th.​

    Hungary Sector 2 (Stanislawow) (4 AG / Odessa HQ):
    Stanislawow, only recently regained, was lost again, three hours after the last report was sent out. The Weight of Genmaj. Decleva's 38.000 strong 2-pronged attack (1), was simply too much for MajGen. Schlemin's 51 SD to bear. On the 2nd, 13 Gly made it's way into the city, and it was promptly attacked from two directions by 55 SD and 184 SD. MajGen. Pavelkin was in charge of the operation to retake Stanislawow, throwing 74 SD into the Battle at 6am on the 3rd, before winning the battle at 7pm. The Hungarians moved quickly, however, and before they could take possession of the area, Pavelkin's riflemen were faced by two more Hungarian Divisions. This time, only 55 SD and 184 SD were available (2), and after less than a day, the offensive was halted.​
    In their rush to keep hold of Stanislawow, the Hungarians had vacated Kolomyja, this opportunity was pounced upon by 25 SD, which promptly parched into the area. By 7pm on the 7th, with his own Division and 184 SD rested, and two more Divisions at his disposal, MajGen. Pavelkin served up the piece de résistance (3). The two Hungarian Divisions, commanded by Genlt. Nagy Gy found themselves under attack from 4 different directions, by 4 rifle Divisions. The 16.000 Hungarians tried their best, delaying the capture of the city until the final Hungarians were routed at 11pm on the 10th. In those 3 days, 2.200 Hungarian servicement lost their lives, as did fewer than 500 Soviets.​
    HUN2-min.jpg
    I BAK flew three missions over Stanislawow on the 9th and 10th of August. Golovanov sure gets around.​
    Baltic/North Atlantic Naval Command (Leningrad HQ):
    II FP and VII FP raid convoys along the German and Polish Baltic coasts, covering the area between Hankö and the Öresund. More to the North, V FP covers the approaches to Trondheim and Narvik. In the last ten days, no German freighters were sunk in this area, it's not clear why. More submarines are being relocated to Copenhagen from Murmansk to extend our operations off the Norwegian coast and blockade all of Norway.​
    The Red Banner Baltic Fleet is almost ready to set out to sea again. The CAGs have been reorganised and reinforced, and the damaged ships have been repaired.​
    Baltic-min.jpg
    Oberst Ritter's Seeaufklärungsgruppe was on the hunt for our submarines, but before they could locate them, Astakhov's Yak-7's intercepted his Ju-290's over the Eastern Baltic, in bad weather, downing 9 of the 21 massive naval bombers. A single Yak-7 collided with a crashing Junkers and was lost.​

    Black Sea/Aegean/Mediterranean Naval Command (Odessa HQ):
    Captain 1st Class of Aviation Vershinin's I KPA intercepted 39a Divisione Transporti over the Northern Aegean with his Carrier-Based La-7VM's. 11 of the 117 three-engined SM.75's were shot down, before Col. Visconti managed to break contact and flee to Rodi with the rest. There were some fears Axis Paratroopers were about to attack Mythiléné, but it turned out they were simply relocating them to Rodi Air Base. The Navy is feeling a bit uneasy about their Aegean base with German Paratroopers ready to go within striking distance. STAVKA is hoping they're gearing up to take back Athina for the Italians. Pressure to make a move on the Dodecanese Islands and Rodi is mounting, and the large Air Base in Rodi is considered a particularly serious threat. This is mostly coming form Navy circles, but there may be some merit in acquiring more real estate in the area before a Balkan Invasion, and the Air Base in Rodi would give us significant Air Base capacity in the area much faster than building a large Air Base in Mythilnéné would.​
    A particularly brave officer in the Red Navy Marines Training programme suggested Mountaineers would do better than his Marines when it comes to taking Mountainous islands. Sure, the Mountaineers would take more losses during the initial landings, but once they reached the steep rock-faces, they would be much more able to scale them quickly and avoid being sitting ducks on the beaches.​
    Aegean-min.jpg
    Rear Admiral Eliseev's VIII FP has had more succes, raiding convoys between Italy and Bengasi, sinking 8 Axis Freighters in the area. The Black Sea fleet also caught 4 Freighters on it's patrols in the Aegean Sea. In the Straits of Messina, Rear Admiral Eliseev got the break of a lifetime. Having spotted a fleet of troop transports on his submarine's Sonar, he had his fleet surface to engage the transports. Amidst a wild storm, his 10 Leninets-Class submarines moved towards the ships. The sonar operator yelled out that there was a massive fleet behind them just as they were closing in on the transports. They received a polite but stern radio request from the bridge of HMS King George V to identify themselves or be fired upon. Eliseev identified himself and his unit in broken English to avoid any incidents. He asked to speak to the British Commander, Admiral Sommerville, who was audibly surprised to find Soviet Submarines so far out in the Mediterranean. With no suitable translators on either fleet, conversation was difficult. Looking into their files, the British discovered that Eliseev was a fluent Spanish speaker, just like Vice-Admiral Mountbatten, and things became significantly easier.​
    Mountbatten clarified that two Royal Navy fleets were closing in, and asked the Soviet Rear Admiral how he wanted to handle the encounter. Sommerville's fleet included the 2 brand new King George V Battleships, and Vice-Admiral Mountbatten's flagship was the Carrier HMS Furious, escorted by HMS Malaya, and plenty of modern Destroyers. Eliseev's submarines were slower than the Italian transports. His subs fired off a volley of torpedoes before disengaging and getting out of the way, allowing the Royal Navy to finish the job. They were overtaken by Battle-Class Destroyers, and soon 14" shells, 15" shells, and Fairey Fulmar dive bombers were whizzing by in the sky overhead. Sadly, the weather was too bad for the submariners get a look at HMS King George V as it sailed past. They broke contact and dived before the Italian transports were sunk. Eliseev ended his conversation with Mountbatten with "Adios", and then immediately went silent.​
    (Eliseev learned Spanish during the Spanish Civil War, where he was an Adviser to the Republican Navy. Mountbatten was a member of the British Royal Family, and closely related to Spanish Royalty. He was the Spanish Queen's first cousin, and likely a good Spanish speaker.)​

    Totals (Last 10 days):
    10_Days-min.jpg
    Convoys: 12 Axis convoys sunk in the Med.​
    Totals (GPW / 50 days)
    Net progress made over the first 50 days of the GPW. Germany has pushed into the Soviet Union, mostly in the North, but they have paid a heavy toll. Now that our Armoured forces are ever more present in precisely this area, we expect the situation to stabilise, and maybe even to turn in our favour.​
    50daysLosses-min.jpg
    Military losses for the entirety of the war, not counting counter-insurgency operations. Axis troops killed in VVS bombardments have not been differentiated between the various nations involved. Aeroplanes are to scale. The 'VM' indicates Red Navy versions of VVS aeroplanes.​
    Convoy raiding: 64 Axis convoys, and 2 escorts sunk.​
    The last 10 days saw a stabilisation of the Northern part of the front, except for the regrettable, and preventable, loss of Riga. The Armoured Army Group is starting to really pull it's weight, and optimists in STAVKA estimate that we could potentially reach the Baltic to the North of Memel within a month, cutting off the northern end of the German forces.
    In the South, a crisis was averted as Sambor was held in extremis, and the flow of supplies towards Sanok remains open. That said, our forces are pushing back, both in the Lwow area and in the Stanislawow area. Overall things in the South are also going in a positive direction now.
    A naval blockade around Norway will soon be complete. The current plan is to starve German troops in Norway of supplies, for a month or two, before attempting an amphibious operation in the Narvik Area. Once Narvik is in our hands, and the area to it's North is mopped up, a land offensive towards the South can proceed. A single corps of Mountain rifles will soon be available for such an operation. If the main front moves in a favourable direction, reserves could be pulled out of Tallinn for a second landing in the Oslo area.
    In the Aegean, the appearance of more Axis paratroopers is making the Red Navy nervous, and the it's plan to first take the Axis-held Islands to the South, and East, of Greece before going into the Balkans is being seriously considered. A corps of Mountain rifles is available for this kind of operation. The Italian Navy is a shadow of it's former self, and our analysts believe that any force they could send out would easily be kept at bay by our Carrier Fleet, if it isn't intercepted by the Royal Navy first.

    As always, your input is valued,

    Greetings,

    'Odin'

    OOC: I took time to set up all new templates in an attempt to make things more visual, and digestible. Don't be shy in giving your opinion on the new visuals, I do want them to be as easily understandable as possible.
     
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    17th of August 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #205
  • roverS3

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    The 17th of August 1942, Vologda, 7,6°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

    Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 8th and the 17th of August 1942,

    by 'Odin'

    Army:
    Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
    Total Army Personnel: 1.127 / 2.515.000
    Officers: 106.179 + / 111.900 needed / 111 KIA / 94,887 % +​
    Active Leaders: 282 / 214 more available
    Artillery production has increased, with 2 new Artillery Regiments on order, bringing forward the moment when every single Rifle Division in the Soviet Union sports an Artillery Regiment.

    No changes to Army Leadership.​

    Air Force:
    No change in VVS numbers, nor Navy Air Fleet numbers for the last 10 days.​
    The production of Yak-7's has resumed, 124 airframes have been ordered, they will be formed into 178 IAD upon delivery.
    No changes to VVS nor Navy Air Fleet leadership.​

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

    Politics / International:
    As the Swedish government and the British Foreign Office continue to pull Sweden out of our orbit, despite the best efforts of our diplomats in Stockholm. The decision was made to, temporarily, reduce our efforts, until Sweden gets over it's Axis-loving faze, and the British Foreign Office gets bored.
    Battle of Britain​
    The Luftwaffe made a few halfhearted attempts to bomb Dover and Portsmouth. All 4 attempts were intercepted by the RAF before they'd even managed to locate their targets.
    It looks like the German bombers in France are having to split their attention between bombing US-funded partisans, and bombing Britain. (see below)
    Battle of the Atlantic​
    At sea, the Kriegsmarine hasn't been very active. Only 3 Allied convoys were sunk in the North Atlantic. British submarines and surface units sunk a total of 32 Axis freighters, a 60% reduction compared to the previous 10-day period. The Red Navy has started sinking German Merchant shipping off the coast of Norway, adding to the pressure on Axis shipping as a whole.
    The Red Banner Baltic Fleet intercepted and sunk two German Landing Craft Flotilla's in the Kattegat.

    France​
    FRA42-08-17-min.jpeg
    As foreseen, Guéret is again firmly under German control. 4 Luftwaffe bombing missions did hammer that point home shortly before the partisans were crushed by Infantry. The other US-supported uprising (above) ran rampant for about a week, taking Arras, St. Quentin, and Compeigne. The fun is now over, in this area as well, as several German Infantry Divisions are bearing down on the embattled Partisans in Compeigne. German Stuka's flew three successful bombing runs on the province, but they were intercepted 5 times by the RAF, no doubt losing a large amount of aircraft in the process. Furthermore, the British fighters increased their harassment of the Luftwaffe in France, battling it out over Paris (11 times), Reims (3 times), Montargis, and Nantes.

    Yugoslavia​
    YSF42-08-07-min.jpeg
    Strangely, the Axis made no progress in it's attempts to root out the Yugoslav partisans. Three German Divisions and a single Italian one are simply staring down the remaining Partisans, who haven't moved since the last report. Let's hope they manage to sort this out before we liberate the Balkans, Stalin would rather not have to deal with a bunch of Yugoslav partisans.

    Athens - Greece​
    GRF42-07-18-min.jpeg
    No changes here.

    North Africa Front:​
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,1​
    Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 5,9 / 79,2 =​
    BNAF42-08-17-min.jpeg
    It looks like the Axis forces in North Africa have melted away. Gazala, along the coast, and Al Jabal al Akhda, further inland, were taken with little or no enemy resistance. To add insult to injury, the RAF's Bristol Beaufighters, now based out of Tobruch, flew 12 bombing missions on the fleeing Italian troops in. They were intercepted only once, over At Tamimi. Right now, the only things slowing down the British are their lack of vehicles and interruptions in their logistics.
    35 Italian Freighters were sunk by the Royal Navy, in the central Mediterranean and the Adriatic. (This on top of the convoys sunk by the Red Navy in the area)
    There were no British convoy losses.
    The RN Coastal Naval Command stopped it's Port Strikes on Tunis Harbour after upgrading to the Bristol Brigand with the RR Griffon engine. This new model is faster, but it does have a shorter range, meaning that Tunis is now too far away. Their attention was now focused, first on Reggio di Calabria, where they flew 4 missions, and on the smaller port of Sousse, to the South-East of Tunis, which was hit 41 times. The Naval bombers sinking three Italian transport squadrons in the process (4a, 5a, & 10a Squadrone Transporti).
    The Strategic Group of Halifaxes based in Athina was unable to do much, as they were intercepted twice, just to the West of Salonica, before they could reach their target. (probably somewhere in Western Bulgaria).
    No naval battles in the Med.

    South East Asia Front​
    United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,1​
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,1​
    Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,1​
    Netherlands, France (Government in Exile)​
    SEAF42-08-17_1-min.jpeg
    The Japanese Division on Java continues it's slow trek to take control of the island. They now moved north, taking the Mountainous province of Gunung Ciremay, in the interior. There is nothing of value in this province. No Allied troops have arrived on the island as the clock continues to tick on most of the Netherlands' remaining Industry and resources.


    SEAF42-08-17_2-min.jpeg
    The IJN has delivered numerous reinforcements to Teluk Anson. Now, a full IJA Corps is starting to run rampant on the Malay peninsula. With only a single Division on the Peninsula, the British are likely to loose it entirely over the coming weeks. Unless they ship in reinforcements of their own.
    Convoy Raiding has slowed down a little, with 32 Japanese freighters adorning the seabed, and a mere 16 Allied merchant vessels sent to the bottom.
    The Royal Navy intercepted Japanese transport fleets several times, but it was unable to stop the IJA reinforcements from getting to Malaysia and Java. In the fighting, IJN Light Cruiser Yahagi was sunk by HMS Barham, 2 Yuso Sentai, a flotilla of transport ships was destroyed by HMS Revenge, and the British 48th Destroyer Flotilla was given the coup de grace by the Light Cruiser Tatsuta, and the 59th Destroyer Flotilla was lost to CA Kinugasa
    Top: Yahagi (1911), not to be confused with Yahagi (1942) was a 5.040 tonne protected Cruiser (CL) of the Chikuma-Class of the IJN. It was commissioned in 1912. It's main armament consisted of 8 15,2cm/45 type 41 guns. One forward, one aft, and 3 in sponsons on each side. 4 deck-mounted QF 12 pounder 12 cwt naval guns formed the secondary armament, with a pair of 7,7mm Lewis Guns providing (some) anti-personel and anti-aircraft firepower. In 1919, two 8cm/40 Type 41 multi-purpose guns were added. Three 18" torpedo launchers round out it's armament. Propulsion is provided by 2 shafts, powered by 16 Kampon-type boilers and a pair of steam turbines, providing 22.500 shp in total. Only the deck (22-57 mm) and the conning tower (102 mm) are armoured, hardly sufficient to stop HMS Barham's 15" shells. Her top speed of 26 knots wasn't particularly great during the Great War, and is positively pedestrian in 1942. She had an active Great War career, chasing the German East Asia Squadron around the Pacific in 1914, patrolling off the coast of Queensland in 1914-1915, relocating to Singapore in 1917 to cooperate with the British China Squadron in the Indian Ocean, and later off the coast of Australia and New-Zealand. Historically she was decommissioned in 1940 and moored near the Etajima IJ Naval Academy, where she served as a barrack ship for submarine crews. Her hull was scrapped in 1947.
    Yahagi_Barham-min.jpg
    Bottom: HMS Barham is a Queen Elizabeth Class Battleship displacing over 32.000 tonnes (standard), and commissioned in 1915. It's main armament consists of 8 BL 15" Mk.I guns mounted in 4 twin turrets, two forward, and two aft. Her secondary armament consisted of 14 BL 6" Mk.XII naval guns in single gun barbettes. The original 3" AA-Armament was replaced in 1938 with 4 QF 4" Mk. XVI guns in 2 twin turrets, and a high-angle range-finder was also added. In 1940, two quadruple Vickers 0.5" MG's were added, and in 1941, a pair of 8-barrel 'pom-pom' batteries were added (one on each side of the conning tower.). 56.000 hp is provided to 4 shafts, by 24 Yarrow-type boilers through two steam turbine sets. Her Great War top speed of 24 knots was reduced to 22,5 knots due to age and alterations that added weight. The main belt sports 13" of armour, the deck, 1-3", the barbettes 7-10", the turrets 11-13", and the conning tower 13" of armour. Needless to say, Yahagi's 152mm shells struggled to do anything beyond scratching the paint. OTL she was sunk by U-331 in the central Mediterranean in 1941.

    Pacific Front​
    JUSP42-08-17-min.jpeg
    Taking advantage of the lack of US initiative, the IJN successfully landed SNLF troops on Palmyra Atoll, taking it and Jarvis Island with little opposition.
    The small US Navy task forces based in Palmyra was taken entirely by surprise by swarms of Japanese Carrier-borne aeroplanes. With no Carriers of their own, the USN vessels took a beating as the faster Japanese ships of the Kido Butai stayed out of gun-range of the American Battleships, some of the older Japanese units did get heavily damaged, but none of them was sunk.. The only option for the US forces was to run to Christmas Island, which they managed, but not before losing the Heavy Cruiser USS Pensacola to torpedo bombers from the CVL Chiyoda, and three Destroyer Divisions (27th, 50th & 52nd DD), to the Air Groups of Ryujo. By miracle, all 4 US Battleships managed to limp away, having sustained very heavy damage. With no US ground forces Garrisoning Christmas Island, this may well be a short stay of execution.
    The Convoy war slowed down here too with Japanese submarines sinking 20 Allied freighters, mostly to the East of Nauru. Allied convoy raiding is down too, with 27 Axis merchant vessels sunk in the Pacific, mostly around Johnston Island. A further 5 were sunk in the Caribbean.
    Top: USS Pensacola, lead ship of the Pensacola-Class of Cruisers, displaced 9.100 tonnes, and was commissioned in 1930. Her main armament consists of 10 8"/55 naval guns in two twin turrets, and two triple turrets (One of each fore and aft). Four 5"/25 AA-guns were meant to protect it from attacks by aircraft. Three 3-pounder 1,9" quick-firing Hotchkiss guns and 6 21" torpedo tubes completed her armament. Power is provided by 12 White-Forster boilers, which can send up to 107.000 shp to 4 screws through 4 Parsons reduction steam turbines. Being a Heavy Cruiser, USS Pensacola has some armour: A 2,1-4" main belt, a 1-1,75" armoured deck, 3/4" of armour on the barbettes, 0,75-2,5" on the turrets, and 1,25" on the conning tower. Her top speed is over 32 knots, much faster than Yahagi (see above). This high top speed is likely what made her a prime target for the IJN aeroplanes, as she was faster than some of the Carriers and could potentially catch up to them. OTL she survived the war, an atomic aerial burst and an atomic subsurface burst in 1946, before being sunk as a target in 1948.
    Pensacola_Chiyoda-min.jpg
    Bottom: Chiyoda is a 11.200 tonne (Standard displacement) Chitose-Class Light Aircraft Carrier. She was commissioned in 1938, as a seaplane carrier. In 1944, she was converted, along with her sister ship Chitose, into an Aircraft Carrier (let's pretend this happened earlier in-game). This conversion included the addition of a wooden deck measuring 180 m by 23 m, and two aircraft elevators. As a CVL, she can carry up to 30 planes. She also sported 8 12,7cm/40 Type 89 multi-purpose guns, and between 30 and 48 Type 96 25mm AA guns, all in twin mounts. Her 2 propellers are powered by 4 boilers, through 2 geared steam turbines. With a total of 56.000 shp, she can reach a top speed of 18,9 knots, significantly slower than USS Pensacola. OTL, she was sunk at the battle of Leyte Gulf.


    Industry:
    Working Industrial Capacity / available domestic capacity / available capacity with Lend-Lease: 235 + / 428 + / 599 + The Industrial complexes in Jelgava (1 IC), Stanislawow (2 IC), and Kuopio (1 IC / Finland SSR), have been retaken from our enemies, foreign and domestic. Some of these are still damaged, so it will take a while before they are back to full production, if we manage to hang on to them.
    Lend-Lease aid has been slowly increasing to over 170 IC/day, there were still some interruptions, the average over the last 10 days was about 149 IC/day. There have been 9 days were aid was delivered for a total of 1.485 ICdays.
    IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )​
    Upgrades: 93,9 / 103,31
    Reinforcement: 28,30/ 28,37 - The need for reinforcements varies wildly but remains over 20 IC.
    Supplies: 76,00 / 58,62 = Supply stockpiles were starting to get dangerously low, so more supplies were ordered from the US.
    Production: 364,92 / 364,92 + The recovery of lost factories, and another increase in Lend-Lease aid have allowed us to increase production again.
    Consumer Goods: 35,95 / 35,95 + Some of the Lend-Lease aid trickles down to the population, this concerns mostly luxuries, like food.

    Stockpiles:​
    Energy: Maximum tonnes +​
    Metal: 98.496 tonnes -​
    Rares: 48.927 tonnes +​
    Crude: 94.383 cubic metres -​
    Supplies: 29.386 tonnes +​
    Fuel: 95.371 barrels +​
    Money: 1.363 +​


    Intelligence:
    American weapons have been ordered through the Lend-Lease programme, for clandestine operations, with the aim of setting up an underground resistance base in enemy-controlled territory. Arrangements are being made to train Partisans and Commando's. As we have little experience in this area, it could take until March next year until the partisans can be deployed.
    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 / 0 }​
    { UK (/) : 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​

    Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
    Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 0
    Reserves: 7​
    Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,21 + (a new spy every 29 days)


    Research:
    Our team of Nuclear Physicists has managed to successfully achieve Isotope Separation (Level 3), they are now ready to start developing practical applications through Civil Nuclear Research (level 1), one of their main jobs is the design of a full-scale Nuclear Reactor.
    Petrov's design bureau has come up with a worthy addition to our arsenal of Artillery pieces. The new M-10 Howitzer is almost ready for production as issues with it's Barrel and Ammunition (Level 7) have been sorted out.
    152mmM38-min.jpg
    The M-10 Howitzer design can be traced back to German Artillery pieces that were given to the Soviet Union in the 1930's. These German howitzers were too complicated to be reproduced, en masse, by Soviet Industry at the time. It took many years of improvement before the Soviet Industry was up to the task. Finally, in 1938, Petrov's design bureau came up with a workable design which included some of the better features of the German guns, and could be mass produced. TTL, the M-10T tank gun (KV-2) was the first application of the gun, before Petrov's team finally got around to making a tractor-towed variant.
    The differences with the ML-20 are numerous. It's carriage has the same suspension set-up as the rear axle of a ZiS-5 lorry, allowing for a higher towing speed on the road (35 km/h vs 20 km/h). Additionally, it's shorter barrel (3,7 m vs 4,41 without muzzle brake) and lower combat weight (4.150 kg vs 7.270 kg) make it significantly more mobile, to the point where it's closer to a 122mm Divisional gun in that respect. The trade-off is a lower muzzle velocity (ca. 500 m/s vs ca. 650 m/s) and a shorter maximum firing range (12,4 km vs. 17,23 km). The rate of fire (3-4 rounds per minute depending on the crew) and maximum elevation is pretty similar (62° vs 65°). The breeches are similar as well, with both models featuring an interrupted screw breech block, and a recoil system consisting of a hydraulic buffer and a hydro-pneumatic recuperator. The M-10 and ML-20 are complementary in their capabilities, therefore, each Artillery Regiment will eventually be reorganised to field 12 152mm M-10 Howitzers, 12 152mm ML-20 Artillery Pieces, and 16 122mm A-19 Field Guns. (now they field 16 ML-20's and 24 A-19s) Some issues with the Carriages still have to be sorted out, but by the end of the month, these will have been remedied.
    Petrov's staff and budget has been reduced as an overhaul of our Education (Level 4) system was considered overdue. Experts from many fields are now spending time devising new curricula and teaching the next generation of educators.
    Engineers in our factories where the T-70 is produced have integrated feedback from it's users in the field, making our Light Tanks significantly more Reliable (Level 4).
    The Red Army Sappers have, together with civilian designers and engineers, developed new and improved Bridging Equipment (Level 3) for our Engineers on the front lines. Now, they've started working together with the navy to develop Amphibious Warfare Equipment for the Naval Infantry. This will likely come too late for the initial landings in the Balkans, but it will likely be useful later in the war.
    Vasily Degtyaryov and his team of weapons designers have been tasked with the design of a cheap to produce sub-machine gun for use as the main Small Arm (Level 3) of our second line troops (Garrison, Militia) and Partisans.
    The NKVD has been given additional funding to Improve our Security Units (Level 1) by teaching them more effective ways to track down enemies of the state.

    Leadership distribution:
    Research: 20,75 (+1,25)
    Espionage: 0,21 (+0,11)
    Diplomacy: 1,02 (-1,04)
    Officers: 12,00 = (72 Officers/day)
    Total: 33,99 (+0,33) Re-capture of Jelgava and Stanislawow.

    Statistics:
    National Unity: 83,237 - foreign spies are back at it
    Neutrality: 0,00 =​
    Dissent: 0,00 =​
    Manpower:​
    Available: 2.075.000 (-7.000) The reduction in manpower remains manageable.
    Men To reinforce(need): 6.190​
    Men To mobilise(need): See above​
    Monthly gain: 71.200 Men + (1 fully mobilised Infx3, Art, AT Division every 5,4 days)​

    No changes in Party Organisation, nor in Party Popularity.​
    This Information is accurate on the morning of the 17th of August 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

    'Odin'
     
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    21st of August 1942, 'Odin': GPW 10-day Report #6
  • roverS3

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    21st of August 1942, Vologda, 2,6°C, 6pm Moscow Time

    'Shest' has been keeping me informed of 'Odinatsat's whereabouts in a series of short reports:

    14th of August 1942​
    In the context of 'Odinatsat's promotion to Major, an NKVD interview has to take place, this is routine, and thus unlikely to arouse particular suspicion. Of course, the opportunity will be taken to subtly notify her of the Markkur situation, and to invite her to join the new NKVD commando & partisan training initiative we're just starting up. I hand picked a man from the Kyiv NKVD office to prosecute the interview using very specific wording, integrating some of the old codes I used to communicate with her when we were working together in France two years ago. I'm sure she'll figure it out.​
    16th of August 1942​
    I've obtained the report from the interview. It looks like she got the message, though she hasn't indicated how she's going to act. She told the NKVD officer she had to think over his offer of a prominent role within the NKVD commando & partisan training programme. On another note, she has now passed every test she needed to for an expedited promotion to Major. (Physical requirements were waived due to the injuries she sustained, and her excellent form on previous tests) With Lt.Gen. Popov's backing, it will no-doubt become official very soon.​
    The 17th of August 1942​
    We're going to have to rethink our plan for dealing with the Americans. Despite the NKVD's (my) suggestions, Major Goleniewsky hasn't applied for the job at the NKVD commando & partisan training programme. Now, I realise that a promise had been made to her, and that she could pick her next job within the Red Army, but this is still highly irregular. With anyone else in the Red Army, being allowed to pick your next job means that you go to where the state wants you out of the goodness of your heart, and if you don't you get to choose between a variety of jobs in Siberia.​
    Now, instead of 'Odinatsat', who already has a prior relationship with General Markkur, we'll have to send another operative, who will have to start from scratch. NKVD Major of State Security Vladimir Lavrentyev will lead the commando & partisan training programme. He has had extensive experience with guerrilla warfare and sabotage operations as a teen in the civil war, but he's not the best spy. A pair of instructors from the OSS's Camp X will arrive shortly to teach our commando's about the modern tools of sabotage developed in the UK & the US. Another area where 11 has valuable experience. A certain Captain Johnson (Lt. Johnson back in Stockholm) will be the permanent liaison with Camp X and the OSS. Our intelligence indicates that he is to report directly to General Markkur, who has now been appointed as the foremost Liaison officer of the USA to the Soviet Union. He has set up shop at 13 Mokhovaya Street (Moskva, US Embassy to the Soviet Union). Arrangements have already been made for select commando's and operatives to go through the VDV's parachute training. The training programme is looking promising though it will take time to get off the ground.​
    Back to our contrarian sharpshooter with the broken leg. Collating 'Dva's, Chtey're's, 'Piat's and my own sources, I have managed to establish where she has ended up (the easy part), and also why. Her lover, Starshina Sergei Kharkov applied, and has been accepted for a position in Leningrad. There, he will be amongst the first VVS Mechanics to get hands on with the American Airframes that have started arriving from the US. Following the Starshina to the Leningrad area, Major Goleniewsky has applied for a teaching position at the M.V. Frunze Red Banner Higher Naval School. This will likely give her the option to transfer to the Naval Infantry with some additional training. Thanks to her valuable front line experience, more than Lt.Gen. Popov's limited connections in the Navy, she's been approved for the job. She will likely find herself teaching young Naval Infantry cadets all about handling sharpshooters in the field, whether they are on our side, or the enemy's. Despite this clear move away from the Red Army, and the intelligence and state security apparatus, she continues to be under non-NKVD (most likely OSS) surveillance. My own people have had to back off somewhat to avoid rousing suspicions, however unfounded, that 'Odinatsat' is doing anything other than being a Red Army (soon to be Naval Infantry) Officer and Instructor. These are tense times.​
    It looks like 'Odinatsat' is doing her own thing, once again. I don't mind, but it does seem to rub some people the wrong way. I guess we'll have to wait and see where she ends up once her leg is healed, and she's back in shape. For now, teaching some Marines seems like the sort of thing she'd be good at.

    Let's now go to the War Reporting for the last 10 days:

    Arctic Front (NOR): XXXIV GSK / 1st AG / Leningrad HQ:
    Our Mountaineers have all but reached the limits of Norway's Arctic Infrastructure. It looks like an overland passage towards Tromso will not be feasible without the construction of a new road through frozen, inhospitable, terrain.

    Finland (FIN): NKGBF / Leningrad HQ:
    With all of the NKGBF now bearing down on the fascist insurgents, the Finnish traitors were in trouble. On the 11th, Sr.Maj.GB Skvortsov's 1st mounted brigade started pushing the 2nd Finnish Partisans out of Varkaus (1). By 3pm the next day, the province was cleared of rabble. Meanwhile, the other mounted brigades took full advantage of their speed, recovering a lot of ground.

    4 NKGBFKB managed to separate the 3rd Finnish Partisans, in Rautavaara, from the rest of the rebels by taking Siilinjärvi on the 15th. A brief skirmish (2) ended almost as soon as it started as the Finns found themselves outmatched, and in danger of being encircled. On the 18th, Sr.Maj.GB Maligin's 3rd Mounted Brigade charged into Rautavara from Iisalmi, to it's West (3). This allowed 4 NKGBFKB to take Juuka unopposed, trapping the 3rd Finnish Partisans in place. They were methodically rooted out, and by 11am on the 20th, Rautavara was once again under our total control. 2.870 Partisans were captured, and 130 were killed.

    This morning 1 NKGBFKB moved into Kuusjärvi, trapping 1st Finnish Revolters in Othari, to it's South. The other ca. 6.000 Partisans have been corralled into a three-province area. Skvortsov's Mounted Brigade came under attack from all of them, but the Partisans are already disorganised, and the NKGBF have had more training, they have better weapons, and horses. This uprising will soon be over, and the Finnish people will again be safe from foreign agents and enemies of the state.
    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners (of War)
    Finnish Insurgents8.9962132.870
    Soviet Union18.000150
    FPF_600-min.jpg

    Denmark (DK): XXXIII SK / Leningrad HQ:
    "First Italians, then Bulgarians. When are we going to get to shoot some actual Germans?" - Maj.Gen. Simoniak after the 5th battle of Slagelse, aka the 1st Danish Bulgarian Turkey Shoot.

    Bulgarian General-maior Hadjipetkov tried his hand at forcing a crossing of the Great Belt. His binary Infantry Division, 12ra PD, fared no better than the Italian one that had come before it, only Hadjipetkov proved to be more stubborn. Between 6am and 6pm on the 21st (today), over 1.000 Bulgarian troops were shot out of the water, with just a single casualty on our side to show for it. Our position in Denmark remains strong.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Bulgaria7.9601.0560
    Soviet Union43.976150
    DK_800-min.jpg

    Main Front Overview:
    OV-42-08-21-min.jpg
    Evolution of the main front of the GPW over the last 10 days, divided into 9 sectors.​

    Latvia Sector (LAT): 2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ:
    After the loss of Riga, things calmed down here. The Axis left Jelgava in the hands of a disorganised 1 Pesi Divize. MajGen. Cheremisov didn't let the opportunity slip, having his 102 SD charge into the province at 11am on the 12th. The well-rested riflemen had pushed Kubela's men out with relative ease by noon.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Slovakia9.000170
    Soviet Union10.999160
    LAT_1024-min.jpg
    No bombing missions, nor aerial encounters in this area.

    Lithuania Sector 1 (LITH1 / North of the Memel): 2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ:
    "Gentlemen, we have been fighting for days on end, proudly liberating Panevezys from the Hun. But now is not the time to rest. We will press on, and hit the Germans fast and hard in Raseinai. We will shock their infantry with the speed and violence of our advance. The enemy won't be allowed to catch his breath until he has been evicted from the premises, you'll make sure of it." - Maj.Gen. Dratvin firing up his troops for the 2nd Battle of Raseinai (3).

    A three-pronged 4-Division Red Army offensive into Panevezys (1) got started at 10pm on the 11th. GenLt. Behlendorff's 4 PzD valiantly resisted for 36 hours before retreating at 10am on the 13th, the Panzer IV's having taken a beating from our 100mm Anti-Tank guns. 1.150 German tankers and grenadiers lost their lives, for fewer than 350 riflemen.
    That wasn't the end of it, though, as before the area could be occupied, 4 ID arrived in Panevezys at 5pm on the 14th, prompting another battle (1), which was won by 6am the next morning. Genlt. Haase C.'s infantrymen lost over 400 of their number, for barely over 100 of MajGen. Dratvin's riflemen.

    The momentum of the victory in Panevezys (1) was carried forward into an attack on Raseinai (3) at 10am on the 18th. Dratvin's 120 SD took the lead along with 105 SD. Genlt. Straube's 2 binary Infantry Divisions stood their ground stubbornly and things were further complicated as von Kempski's 36 ID hit Panevezys (4) at 4am on the 19th. The pressure on Raseinai (3) was maintained, and it was decided in our favour when a pair of Motorised Rifle Divisions attacked the enemy flank (5) from Kaunas on the evening of the 20th. Raseinai (3 & 5) fell at 1am on the 21st, and the German attack on Panevezys (4) was called off at 9am. It was a bloody pair of battles for both sides with over 1.300 Soviet and close to 2.500 German casualties.

    9 TD in Jurbarkas came under attack (2) from 3 sides at 3am on the 12th. Genlt. von Hubicki's force consisted of 7 PzD, attacking from across the Memel river, and 3 Infantry Divisions. MajGen. Beloborodov's men fought tooth and nail to hold their ground, but with no forthcoming reinforcements, they were forced to retreat to Kaunas amidst mounting casualties after two days of fighting. They left behind over 1.200 of their tanker comrades, having taken about 500 enemies with them.

    STAVKA is going back on the offensive, having launched two more battles today, one into Ariogala, and another into Siauliai.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Germany65.7544.5630
    Soviet Union185.1762.9780
    LITH1_1024-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Germany286184 x FW-190 (Ftr)50 x FW-190 (Ftr)339 x Ju-88 (Tac)59 x Ju-88 (Tac)
    AXIS1.629 KIA
    Soviet Union188 KIA94494 x Yak-7 (Int)
    247 x La-7 (Ftr)
    50 x Yak-7 (Int)
    8 x La-7 (Ftr)
    248 x Il-10 (CAS)
    200 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    12 x Il-10 (CAS)
    6 x Yak-4 (Tac)

    Over 150 Ju-88's and 100 FW-190's were intercepted over Pasvalis at 5am on the 12th, by LtGen.Av. Astakhov's II IAK. The 482 Yak-7's arrived before Gen.dFl. Dörstling's FK VI reached it's target and the Junkers' had to jettison their bombs. On the ground, our forces were free to continue their charge into Panevezys (1) unperturbed. The ensuing dogfight claimed 18 Yak-7's and over 50 enemy aeroplanes.

    During the following battle of Raseinai (3), Gen.dFl. Kesselring's FK IV hit Panevezys at 9am on the 21st, inflicting close to 200 casualties on the ground. They were intercepted by Astakhov's Yak-7's while they were dropping their bombs, and close to 60 German aircraft were downed for 32 of our fighters.

    In an ultimately futile attempt to save our hold on Jurbarkas (2), LtGen.Av. Golovanov's Yak-4's hit Ariogala 4 times on the 12th and the 13th.

    IV ShAK flew 4 missions over Raseinai on the 19th and 20th. The Il-10's flew a further 2 missions over Ariogala on the 21st.

    Lithuania Sector 2 (LITH2 / South of the Memel): 2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ:

    LITH2_1024-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Germany10,85 Infrastructure
    347.820 t of Supplies
    5.132 m^3 of Fuel
    35259 x Me-109 (Int)35 x Me-109 (Int)00
    AXIS572 KIA
    Soviet Union074372 x Yak-7 (Int)
    124 x La-7 (Ftr)
    42 x Yak-7 (Int)
    4 x La-7 (Ftr)
    248 x Il-10 (CAS)
    162 x TB-3 (Str)
    7 x Il-10 (CAS)
    7 x TB-3 (Str)

    With no ground combat in this sector, LtGen.Av. Kalinin's 162 TB-3's had clear skies to fly Logistical strikes on a series of provinces to the South of the Memel river. After 2 final missions over Mariampolé on the 11th, the province's infrastructure was thoroughly reduced to medieval standards. Tilsit was up next, with 8 missions over 5 days achieving the same result. Now, the operation has shifted to Kybartai with 4 missions flown before today.

    Further from the front, LtGen.Av. Astakhov's II IAK intercepted Gen.dFl. Klepke's Me-109's over Königsberg on the 14th. After 3 hours, the Germans broke off the engagement. Losses on both sides were minimal.

    On the 20th, flying to the very edge of the Yak-7's range, II IAK chased JK I's 200 Me-109's all the way to Gdansk (Danzig / not on the map), intercepting them at 2pm over their own bases. Despite fighting with one eye on the fuel gauge and having to evade heavy Anti-Air Artillery, our losses were relatively low: 19 Yak-7's were lost for 16 of Gen.dFl. Klepke's Messerschmitt's.

    Poland Sector 1 (POL1 / Nyoman/Memel bend): 2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ:
    Two attacks into Grodno were called off shortly after they started. The first, at 8pm on the 11th was cut short because our T-34s were getting stuck in the marshy ground when they attempted to circumvent the first AT position they encountered. As all three participating Soviet Divisions were Tank units, this was a serious problem that would significantly slow down their offensive and cause many casualties.
    The second attack, at 6am on the 16th, was better suited for the treacherous terrain. It consisted of a Motorised Rifle Division, including sappers, but it came too late, as the enemy had reinforced the province with WSS troops and King Tigers, more than tripling the number of defenders. It was called off mere minutes after it started. Grodno remains in German hands, as a rather annoying enemy beachhead on our side of the Memel river.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Germany32.461390
    Soviet Union43.987430
    POL1_1024-min.jpg

    Poland Sector 2 (POL2 / Nyoman-Prypyats): 2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ:
    "The teutonic invaders have drenched the soil of Domonovo in Soviet blood. Now is our chance to return the favour once again. We will attack from four sides, with overwhelming numerical superiority, and extreme prejudice. For our slain comrades, and for the people of the Soviet Union." - MajGen. Fillipovsky adressing his own 109 MSD before the massive attack on Domonovo (5)

    Here too, the Red Army went on the offensive, with 3 KavD and 81 MSD charging into Rozana (1) at 8pm on the 11th. They faced some serious opposition, SSD (mot) 'Reich' & 5 ID were dug in and ready for a fight in the forest. The result was a toss-up, and by 6am the next morning MajGen. Shumilov, frustrated with the lack of progress, called it quits.
    3 KavD relocated to Zelva, and on the 16th, another attack on Rozana (3) started, this time 135 MSD was supporting the MajGen. Kurochkin P.A.'s armoured cavalry from Slonim. They found only SSD (mot) 'Reich' was still there. Thanks to these superior numbers, the two-pronged attack hit home by 8pm that same day, as Genlt. von Randow's elite WSS withdrew.

    In the meantime, the 7th battle for Domonovo (2) continued, as 131 MSD held out against an increasing number of enemy units. The battle had started on the 8th of August with Genlt. Koch-Erpach's triangular Infanterie-Division attacking from the South-West. At 6pm on the 11th, as the previous report was sent out, 15 ID was added to the mix, and by 10 am on the 12th, 1 PzD, equipped with PzIII 'Light' Tanks reinforced by attacking our Motorised Riflemen from Slonim to the west. The battle looked lost, then and there, but at 3pm 18 ID withdrew from the fighting, and at 6pm, 36 MSD managed to reinforce the defence. The celebrations were short as 35 ID joined in on the attacking side minutes later, and 131 MSD broke at midnight. Despite the best efforts of MajGen. Maslennikov's outnumbered riflemen, Domonovo (2) fell to the Axis at 8am on the 14th. The stubborn defence cost us close to 2.000 casualties, and about half as many of the enemy.
    At 4am on the 16th, MajGen. Filippovsky launched a Soviet attack on Domonovo (5). Charging in with 4 Divisions at the same time, from three sides, he wasn't messing around. Initially, only 5 ID was present, having just arrived after their own victory (2). The defenders were reinforced by 1 PzD at 7pm, a mere three hours before their Infantry broke under the pressure. Genlt. Schmidt R.'s 1 PzD proved to be tougher, and they still had quite a bit of fight in them 24 hours later, when 35 ID joined the defence. The Panzer III's broke at 3pm on the 21st. In the panicked chaos, 35 ID fled with them, and victory was ours. The price was steep: The red army lost close to 1.800 riflemen and the Wehrmacht over 2.500 soldiers, and plenty of Panzer III's.

    1 GvSD came under fire in Janow (4) at 6am on the 17th. MajGen. Zhadov's Guards riflemen were not dug in, and they faced two binary Infantry Divisions lead by Genlt. Böttcher F. They held out in the face of superior numbers, foiling Böttcher's Shock attacks by drawing them into ambushes on the 18th. After holding their ground for four days, they could take no more, throwing in the towel at at 10am on the 21st, having killed fewer than 700 attackers and suffered over 1.500 casualties of their own.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Germany122.6865.1470
    Soviet Union139.7745.9260
    POL2_1024-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Germany34265 x Me-109 (Int)34 x Me-109 (Int)00
    AXIS7.464 KIA
    Soviet Union0182496 x Yak-7 (Int)
    372 x La-7 (Ftr)
    17 x Yak-7 (Int)
    5 x La-7 (Ftr)
    496 x Il-10 (CAS)
    201 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    73 x Il-10 (CAS)
    7 x Yak-4 (Tac)

    II BAK flew 6 bombing missions on Bereza (11th to 13th) in support of the battle of Domonovo (2). From the 17th, they hit Dywin to it's South for 9 missions in support of the battle of Janow (4) over 5 days. LtGen.Av. Yakovlev's Yak-4's caused over 2.800 casualties in the process.

    Marshall Av. Novikov's Il-10's supported our attack on Rozana (3) by flying 7 ground attack missions on the province over 4 days (14th, 16th-18th). A single attack on Swislocz, on the way there, on the 14th supported the battle for Domonovo (2).

    At 11pm on the 18th, II ShAK's assault planes were intercepted over Rozana by Klepke's Messerschmitts. Despite the near-simultaneous arrival of LtGen.Av. Khudyakov's Yak-7's, Novikov's Ilyushin's were hit hard. Over 50 bombers, and 16 fighters were lost for 34 enemy aeroplanes.

    Meanwhile (16th-18th), the Il-10's of IV ShAK were bombing Domonovo in support of the Red Army offensive into the area (5). LtGen.Av. Rudenko's men flew a total of 6 missions, before IV ShAK was pulled away for operations in Lithuania.

    Luckily, two full-strength Assault aviation Divisions were in reserve as the battered II ShAK returned from Rozana. After some nightly reshuffling, Marshall Av. Novikov's unit was ready to go out to bomb Domonovo (5) on the 19th, flying 6 missions in the last three days.

    Poland Sector 3 (POL3 / Prypyats-Zakhidnyu Buh): 3 AG & Arm AG / Brjansk HQ:
    "It's very simple really. There will be no retreat. We will keep killing each and every kraut that tries to cross the Bug. Until they stop coming, or we're all dead. The river line must be held." - MajGen. Dement'ev as the Wehrmacht attacks Luboml from three sides

    Luboml came under attack from three sides on the morning of the 11th. 2 ID and 13 PzD were attacking from Chelm, and Zamosc, across the river Bug. 36 ID (mot) was charging across the plains, coming from Switaz, on the Eastern side of the Bug. Luckily, the province was strongly held by three fresh rifle Divisions (23 SD, 75 SD, 45 SD), under overall command of MajGen. Dement'ev, a decorated veteran of the Winter War. He was still less skilled than his German counterpart, Genlt. Heissmeyer. The enemy commander couldn't change the facts on the ground, and on the 14th, first 13 PzD, and later Heissmeyer's own 2 ID withdrew from the fighting having suffered countless casualties. Genlt. Hänicke's 36 ID (mot), now hopelessly outnumbered, stubbornly continued the attack, until 7am on the 15th, when they too finally broke. The 6th battle of Luboml was an unmitigated success. No territory was lost and the Germans suffered over 3.400 casualties for less than 1.650 on our side.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Germany24.9863.4400
    Soviet Union21.9871.6410
    POL3_1024-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Hungary54185 x Ju-86 (Tac)27 x Ju-86 (Tac)
    AXIS343 KIA
    Soviet Union145 KIA6496 x Yak-7 (Int)
    124 x La-7 (Ftr)
    6 x Yak-7 (Int)
    0 x La-7 (Ftr)
    248 x Il-10 (CAS)0 x Il-10 (CAS)

    Hungarian Genlt. Rapaich's 185 Ju-86 bombers dropped their payloads on our forces in Luboml on the 13th. The Yak-7's of LtGen.Av. Rog arrived too late to stop them, but they did down 27 enemy planes for 6 of our own after the damage was done. Over 140 riflemen were killed by Axis bombs.

    LtGen.Av. Zhigarev's Il-10's continued bombing Zamosc in support of the battle of Luboml, flying two missions. (12th & 13th)

    Poland Sector 4 (POL4 / Zakhidnyu Buh-Dniestr): 3 AG / 4 AG / Brjansk HQ:
    "We may have lost this battle, we may be exhausted, but we will return to the front stronger than ever once we finish lickling our wounds. You have fought bravely, you have given your all in the face of worsening odds and slowed the enemy's advance to a crawl. This has allowed Rogachev's men to take over the positions we vacated mere hours ago before the Germans could get to them. You may rest easy in the knowledge that the enemy has gained nothing." - MajGen. Rivkin after withdrawing his exhausted troops form Krasne after 4 days of intense battle (4 & 5)

    The 7th battle of Sanok (1), starting at 8pm on the 11th, was a multinational operation with Hungarian Genmaj. Nagy V. in overall command. His binary Division, 6 Gly, was attacking from Debica, and the triangular Bulgarian 3-ta PPD was attacking from Gorlice. Both were crossing the river San under fire from MajGen. Panfilov's 2 Rifle Divisions. 24 hours in, the Axis international cooperation broke down as the Bulgarians called it quits, having suffered over 500 casualties. Likely cursing the Bulgarian cowards, Nagy had his men continue the fight until his own troops could take no more. The last Hungarians withdrew at 9am on the 13th, leaving behind over 800 casualties. Soviet casualties were below 60.
    Buoyed by their defensive success 139 SD and 189 SD took turns charging across the river into Gorlice (2) that same day. MajGen. Panfilov's 139 SD at 10am, and 189 SD at 2pm. Luckily neither attack lasted longer than an hour. Over 400 lives were wasted for a mere 11 Axis killed and no ground gained.

    Just as short-lived was the 12th battle of Turka (3), a German attack across the San, originating from Gorlice at 7pm and ending after 1 hour.
    The 13th battle of Turka (6) was a different beast. 4 PzD attacked at 6pm on the 14th, from Uzhorod, between the San and the Dniestr. Despite not having to deal with a river crossing, Genlt. Pfeffer's Panzer IV's were still facing 4 well-rested, dug in, rifle Divisions, all with dedicated Anti-Tank Regiments. The results were predictable, and after a full 24 hours, they simply stopped coming, leaving behind over 1.300 dead, and numerous burnt out Panzers. Our own losses were below 200.

    MajGen. Rivkin lead a single-Division attack into Zolkiew (4), starting at 2pm on the 11th. The target province was initially defended by Genlt. Müller An.'s 10 ID (mot) alone, and Rivkin managed to foil the enemy's delaying tactics through shock attacks. But, at 10am on the 12th, the defenders were reinforced by 8 ID. With no reinforcements on our side, Rivkin was forced to halt the offensive at 9am on the 14th, as his troops were becoming rather too disorganised. Casualties were rather close at over 850 Soviets and over 750 Germans KIA.
    A brief counterattack (5) by 8 ID then forced Rivkin's 49 SD out of Krasne, but before 8 ID could occupy the fortified province, MajGen. Rogachev's 62 SD arrived to do the same. The 4th battle of Krasne (5) started at 5pm on the 15th, it looked like a toss-up right until 9am on the 17th, when 77 GvSD joined in, bolstering the defence.
    Then, at 10 am on the 18th, a two-pronged Soviet attack on Zolkiew (7) started with MajGen. Tiulenev's 104 SD attacking from Wlodzimierz Wolynski across the Bug, and 10 TTGvD from Lwow. 8 ID was forced to halt it's attack on Krasne (5) within the hour, but it wasn't enough, and at 9pm Genlt. von Sponeck pulled his Division out of Zolkiew. Casualties for both battles (5 & 7) amounted to over 1.100 German and fewer than 700 Soviet KIA's.

    Following the liberation of Zolkiew MajGen. Obukhov pushed his luck at 1pm on the 19th, attempting to dislodge 3 ID (mot) in Przemysl (8). The commander of 181 SD had only his own Division, and Genlt. von Roques was more skilled than he was. Things quickly started to go wrong when the initial Soviet attack was met by a violent counter attack. Instead of changing tactics, Obukhov doubled down ordering a reckless assault, which was, in turn, blunted by more German counter attacks. Making little progress, and with his troops now markedly less organised than the enemy, Obukhov had to call it a day at 3pm. Losses were about 650 of ours for about 530 of theirs.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Bulgaria25.7875440
    Hungary5.9968470
    Germany120.3273.8880
    AXIS152.1105.2790
    Soviet Union196.7682.9370
    POL4_1024-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Hungary400186 x Ju-86 (Tac)1 x Ju-86 (Tac)
    AXIS343 KIA
    Soviet Union96 KIA16248 x La-7 (Ftr)2 x La-7 (Ftr)248 x Il-10 (CAS)
    201 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    5 x Il-10 (CAS)
    2 x Yak-4 (Tac)

    At 8am on the 13th, Hungarian bombers, on their way to Luboml (see above), decided to drop some of their bombs on Sanok (1) along the way. Our own fighters were taken by surprise, as our intelligence indicated their target was Luboml and they had just taken off and were going the wrong way. They had to get back to base, and refuel in a hurry to make it to Luboml in time. 96 casualties were counted on the ground.

    LtGen.Av. Zhigarev's I ShAK flew 7 missions over Zolkiew over 4 days, from the 11th to the 14th, in support of the battles of Zolkiew (4) and Krasne (5).
    Returning to this sector, his Il-10's hit Jaroslaw twice today. (21st) in support of the ongoing defence of Jaworow.

    The Yak-4's of LtGen. Av. Golovanov took over from I ShAK, bombing Zolkiew 6 times over three days, starting on the 16th.

    Hungary Sector 1 (HUN1 / West): 3 AG / 4 AG / Odessa HQ:
    "4ya Armiya's ColGen. Volskiy has a stone in his shoe, and you have been given the privilege of removing it. Volkmann's troops have far overstayed their welcome in Drohobycz. You will now throw them out with the same vigour a capitalist slumlord's enforcer displays when evicting his proletarian tenants for being late on rent." - MajGen. Ermakov, riling up his troops for his big offensive into Drohobycz (2).

    4ya Armiya HQ was given new orders to be more assertive, as Col.Gen. Volskiy seemed to indicate that he could more than handle the Hungarians with the troops he had. The first Soviet attack was a one-Division one into Uzhorod (1), The province was held by three Hungarian binary Division, and 4 PzD, under the overall command of Hungarian Genmaj. Miklos. The attack went in at 4am on the 16th, and despite the early withdrawal of the German Panzers, MajGen. Mitorfanov's riflemen never really had a chance. The whole operation was called off at 6pm, with over 400 Soviet casualties, and fewer than 150 axis ones.

    Also on the 16th, starting at 1am, a much better planned battle started. Finally, 4ya Armiya was serious about evicting the Germans from Drohobycz. 4 rifle Divisions, under the overall command of MajGen. Ermakov, attacked simultaneously from 4 different directions (2). Genlt. Volkmann's 2 Infantry Divisions tried to hold back the onslaught, with some limited success at first. The next day, things turned decidedly in our favour, as Volkmann's Masterful Delay tactics were effectively countered by a vigorous Assault. By 8pm on the 17th, all resistance had ceased. Drohobycz was ours again at a cost of over 700 dead riflemen, and over 1.300 killed German infantry.

    A second single-Division attack into Turka, at 1am on the 19th, was no more successful than the first. This time around, Miklos had the support of 8 PzD, and they did stick around. MajGen. Purkaev S.F. called off the attack at 3am that night, leaving behind close to 400 of our own and having eliminated fewer than 150 of the enemy.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Hungary47.0642480
    Germany32.2961.3890
    AXIS79.3601.6370
    Soviet Union64.8891.5250
    HUN1_1024-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Hungary116333 x CR.32 (Int)28 x CR.32 (Int)97 x Ju-86 (Tac)44 x Ju-86 (Tac)
    AXIS618 KIA
    Soviet Union43496 x Yak-7 (Int)
    122 x La-7 (Ftr)
    1 x Yak-7 (Int)
    10 x La-7 (Ftr)
    244 x Il-10 (CAS)16 x Il-10 (CAS)

    The Il-10's of I ShAK struck Uzhorod at 11am on the 15th, but as they strafed and bombed the enemy troops, they were intercepted by over 330 CR.32 biplanes. Genlt. Rakosi had come to spoil the party. VI. IAK was quick to respond, and LtGen.Av. Rog's Yak-7's downed 28 biplanes before Rakosi called it a day. 14 Assault planes and 10 La-7's were lost.

    As I was finishing this report, I got news that Genlt. Hellebronth's 97 Ju-86 tactical bombers had been successfully intercepted over Drohobycz. The battle started three hours ago, and it has now ended in a victory for LtGen.Av. Rog and his 496 Yak-7's. 44 Hungarian bombers were downed, and only a single of our fighters was lost.

    LtGen.Av. Zhigarev's Assault Bomber Corps struck Uzhorod again on the 19th, and twice on the 20th.

    Hungary Sector 2 (HUN2 / Stanislawow): 4 AG / Odessa HQ:
    "We attack, they counter-attack, and we hold our ground with ease. Rinse and repeat. They've not even started to make a dent in our numbers, let alone our resolve."
    MajGen. Larichev's cynical remarks after his 5th defensive victory in 10 days in Stanislawow. (1 & 2)

    Stanislawow came under attack once again at 11pm on the 11th. Hungarian Genmaj. Ternegg K. was presiding over a three-Division, two-pronged, attack (1 & 2). 121 SD, MajGen. Larichev's defending Division had it's work cut out for it, or so it seemed. The riflemen were dug in in the forests, and after a mere three hours, the Hungarians pulled out.

    After a few quiet days, MajGen. Larichev's riflemen charged into Rachov (3) at 4am on the 15th. After 2 hours the probe was called off, just in time for a Hungarian attack on Stanislawow, starting at 7am, and lasting 2 hours. MajGen. Schlemin's 51 SD arrived in Stanislawow and doubled the number of defenders. He pushed on into Rachov (3) at 1pm, with only his Division, against 2 enemy Divisions under Genmaj. Heszlény. The Hungarians were disorganised from previous fighting and our riflemen were fresh, but the Moutainous terrain was working against them. Some progress was made, until 4am the next day, when Genmaj. Brunswik spoiled the fun with a two-Division attack on Stanislawow (1), from Volove. MajGen. Schlemin called of his attack two hours later to properly join MajGen. Larichev's defense. In turn, Genmaj. Brunswik ended the battle of Stanislawow (1) at 9am. In all of these skirmishes over 250 Soviet and over 320 Hungarian servicemen lost their lives.

    On the 19th, MajGen. Larichev decided the time was ripe for another attack on Rachov (3). At 4am, his riflemen moved into the mountains, backed up by their regiment of SU-100's. They soon found out that the province had been reinforced with 5 PzD. It would have been interesting to see Panzer IV's and SU-100s go toe to toe in mountainous terrain, but it was not to be. Genmaj. Brunswik was back at it, attacking Stanislawow (1) at 7am. 121 SD pulled out of Rachov at 9am, but the Hungarians held fast in their attack for another 6 hours before retreating at 3pm. In total over 200 Soviets, close to 260 Hungarians, and 4 Germans, lost their lives on the 19th.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Hungary171.4446840
    Germany14.98760
    AXIS186.4316900
    Soviet Union142.0256040
    HUN2_1024-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Italy20500112 x CZ.1007 (Tac)41 x CZ.1007 (Tac)
    AXIS1.920 KIA
    Soviet Union96 KIA37496 x Yak-7 (Int)
    247 x La-7 (Ftr)
    1 x Yak-7 (Int)
    10 x La-7 (Ftr)
    402 x Yak-4 (Tac)13 x Yak-4 (Tac)

    112 Italian CANT Z 1.007bis tactical bombers made an appearance over Stanislawow at noon on the 15th. They were immediately intercepted by LtGen.Av. Rog's fighters and forced to drop their bombs prematurely. Gen.D.A. Briganti's 4 DBT is suspected to have flown in from Albania, and they quickly turned tails. Regardless, the 496 Yak-7's of II IAK made short work of them, shooting down 41 enemy bombers for a single lost fighter.

    LtGen.Av. Yakovlev's II BAK flew 3 missions over Volove, and a single one over Rachov during the skirmishes on the 15th & 16th of August.

    I BAK started flying missions over Rachov on the 19th. The first mission was flown in support of the battle of Rachov (3), the 4 that followed were in support of the ongoing low-intensity battle for Jablonow.

    Baltic/North Atlantic Naval Command: Leningrad HQ:
    Baltic_42-08-21-min.jpg

    "The Germans have landing craft?!" feigning utter shock "Sorry, my mistake. They 'had' landing craft." - VADM Kuznetsov as the last of the German landing craft-carrying ships slips below the waves.

    With the Norwegian coast and the German-held Baltic coast covered by Red Navy units, German convoys to Sweden & Norway had no choice but to try and slip the net. It turned out that supplies bound for Norway are being shipped into Oslo and Kristiansand. Moreover, they are also shipping supplies from Stettin to the front to alleviate the road and rail networks. (Which are being deliberately reduced to rubble by the VVS to cut off supplies to the area north of the Memel river).

    At 2pm on the 16th, an La-7VM from the Carrier Leningrad (CVL) spotted 10 specialised German transport ships (2 flotilla's) carrying landing craft in the Kattegat. Il-10VM's were scrambled, and the Red Banner Baltic Fleet moved towards the spotted vessels, making contact at 3pm. The ensuing battle was brief and one-sided, ending by 6pm, with the sinking of the last of the enemy transports. The final shots were fired by the Battleship Oktyabrskaya Revoluciya, VADM Kuznetsov's flagship. (and that of the Soviet Navy). It's not clear what the transports were doing there.

    More intelligence was gathered by our fleets about German land and Naval assets in the area. A large German Fleet is present in Fredrikshavn, our radar operators on board the Destroyers of the RBBF determined the presence of a Battleship, presumably Tirpitz, amongst several smaller units. Two small fleets were also detected, one in Stavanger, and the other in Narvik. The Southern ports of Norway are much less heavily guarded than Narvik, none of them has more than a single Infantry or Garrison Division holding it. A Southern invasion now seems more likely to succeed than a Northern one. If the Kriegsmarine can be kept at bay. The Black Sea Fleet is already on it's way North with additional transports. The main front seems to have stalled, and 7 new Divisions will be deployed within the next 20 days. STAVKA is seriously considering pulling XXIII SK from Tallin for a Norwegian operation. With the Mountain Rifle Corps up north, the VDV in the mix, and German supply convoys under constant harassment, we could probably take the Southern ports before the Panzers can make their way down.

    Black Sea/Aegean/Mediterranean Naval Command: Odessa HQ:
    Med_42-08-21-min.jpg

    IV FP continues it's convoy raiding in the Central Mediterranean, and RADM Golovko's Carrier Fleet has taken over patrols in the Aegean from the Black Sea Fleet. No remarkable events, except for a slight uptick in the number of convoys sunk.

    Totals losses:
    Last 10 daysEngaged in BattleKilled in battleKilled by bombsAir Crew KIAKIA at seaTotal KIAPrisoners of War
    Slovakia9.00017/00170
    Bulgaria33.7471.600/001.6000
    Hungary224.5041.779/17201.9510
    Italy00/20502050
    Germany413.49718.472/3553.83622.6630
    AXIS680.74821.86815.4627323.83641.8980
    Soviet Union849.58115.671429491016.5910
    OV-42-08-21-min.jpg

    GPW (60 days)Engaged in BattleKilled in battleKilled by bombsAir Crew KIAKIA at seaTotal KIAPrisoners of War
    Slovakia34.9322.792/10802.9000
    Bulgaria69.5323.381/333103.7240
    Hungary1.239.08616.349/760017.1090
    Italy33.732642/2551.0031.9000
    Germany4.014.386131.206/4.6255.116140.94718.294
    AXIS5.391.668154.37082.6745.7816.429249.25418.294
    Soviet Union7.338.540129.0391.7724.4371.131136.37957.778

    Aeroplane losses:
    GPW (60 days)FightersSmall BombersMedium BombersLarge BombersTransports
    Slovakia/36 x A.304///
    Bulgaria33 x He-51B////
    Hungary160 x CR.32203 x Ju-87B-2270 x Ju-86K-2//
    Italy//41 x CZ.1007bis/11 x SM.75bis
    Germany692 x FW-190A-3
    469 x Me-109G-5
    42 x Hs-129B-2924 x Ju-88A-445 x Ju-2908 x Me-232D-1
    AXIS662 x Int, 692 x Ftr281 x CAS1.235 x Tac45 x Nav19 x Tra
    Soviet Union624 x Yak-7
    792 x La-7
    233 x La-7VM
    731 x Il-10
    234 x Il-10VM
    374 x Yak-426 x TB-347 x Li-2

    In general, things are looking up. The Red Army is taking back a lot more ground than it's losing, especially in the South. If the current trend continues, our forces will venture into enemy territory sooner rather than later.
    The North remains a stalemate, with small gains on both sides, though the recovery of Jelgava's Industry is certainly welcome.
    In the South, the Red Army has been pressuring the Germans and the Hungarians relentlessly, pushing them both back to their pre-war borders.
    The naval blockade around Norway is complete & intelligence gathered. The South of Norway, which proved to be lightly garrisoned, now seems the better target for an invasion when compared to Narvik.
    The Carrier Fleet has taken over Aegean patrols from the Baltic Fleet as the latter has started to make it's way North to assist in a possible operation in Norway.

    As always, your input is valued,

    Greetings,

    'Odin'

    Edits: syntax & spelling errors. Size issue with two of the maps. (POL3 & POL4). Filling in Aircrew KIA in the sector Air combat tables.
     
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    27th of August 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #206
  • roverS3

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    The 27th of August 1942, Vologda, 7,6°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

    Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 18th and the 27th of August 1942,

    by 'Odin'

    Army:
    In a freak occurrence, the rank and file of 46 GSD (Mtnx3) disappeared during the night of the 23rd of August. They were being transported by sea off the coast of Norway, and the officers were hosted on the warships of the Black Sea Fleet, and the transports with the rest of the Division disappeared into the fog for 4 hours, returning empty and with the crews none the wiser. Luckily, despite it's scale, the strange event could be covered up rather quickly as a Mtnx3 Division finished training on the 25th. MajGen. Gerasimov A.V. and his cadre of officers quickly took command of this new 46 GSD (Mtnx3). (I merged a transport fleet with the Black Sea Fleet, at sea, while the Mtnx3 Division was embarked in the transports, and it seems to have disbanded the Division... The Division didn't have any combat experience. Luckily, there was only one Division on board, I'm playing as the Soviet Union, and it's only a drop in the bucket.)
    66 KP & 69 KP are now fully equipped with GAZ half-tracks. Both Regiments will now rejoin 12 KD. Now all of our Cavalry Divisions have been upgraded to Armoured Cavalry.
    Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
    Front line troops: 696 / 2.088.000
    Support troops: 369 / 369.000
    Total fighting troops: 1.065 / 2.457.000
    Headquarters: 64 / 64.000
    Total Army Personnel: 1.129 / 2.521.000
    Officers: 106.714 + / 112.100 needed / 185 KIA / 95,195 % +​
    Active Leaders: 282 / 2 POW / 214 more available
    A new Mountain Rifle Division has started training, 125. GSD (Mtnx3).
    No changes to Army Leadership.​

    Air Force:
    No change in VVS numbers, nor Navy Air Fleet numbers for the last 10 days.​
    No changes to VVS nor Navy Air Fleet leadership.​

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

    Politics / International:
    Battle of Britain​
    The Luftwaffe continued it's attacks on Dover and Portsmouth, succeeding a mere 4 times in actually hitting something (once in Portsmouth, three times in Dover). They were intercepted 22 times by the RAF.
    Over the continent, Aerial battles took place over Paris (60), Reims (18), Montargis (8), Nantes (8), and Lille (1). No strategic bombing over Germany took place.
    Battle of the Atlantic​
    At sea, the Kriegsmarine has increased it's convoy raiding, sinking 20 Allied convoys in the North Atlantic. British submarines and surface units took advantage of a boom in Axis merchant activity, sinking a total of 189 Axis freighters. The Red Navy continues sinking German Merchant shipping off the coast of Norway, adding to the pressure on Axis shipping as a whole.
    France​
    After 16 bombing runs, the last US-supported uprising which controlled Arras, St. Quentin, and Compeigne at one point, was snuffed out. The RAF worked hard to keep the Luftwaffe at bay here, with a total of 26 aerial battles in this area alone.
    Yugoslavia​
    YSF42-08-07-min.jpeg
    Still no progress on this front
    Athens - Greece​
    GRF42-07-18-min.jpeg
    Despite halfhearted attacks by the Italians, Athina remains firmly in British hands. The RAF redeployed Beaufighters to Athina to bomb Nafplio, which they did a 6 times in support of the battle.
    North Africa Front:​
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,1​
    Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 5,9 / 79,2 =​
    BNAF42-08-27-min.jpeg
    The British 1st Army (5 Divisions on/near the front) in Libya circumvented At Tamimi, taking Ra's at Tin. An Italian Division of Mountaineers was caught encircled in the process, and forced to surrender, having been the target of 90 RAF bombing runs.
    16 bombing runs were flown over Ra's at Tin in support of the Royal Marine's attack into the province. Now, the RAF's Wellington's are focusing on Melchili. Only 2 bombing raids on Al Tamimi were intercepted by the Regia Aeronautica. The Front is closing in on Bengasi, and Italian resistance seems to be melting away, probably through a combination of a lack of supplies and relentless RAF Air Strikes.
    143 Axis Freighters were sunk by the Royal Navy, in the central Mediterranean and the Adriatic. (This on top of the convoys sunk by the Red Navy in the area)
    A single Yugoslav merchant vessel was lost off the coast of Dubrovnik.
    The RN Coastal Naval Command focused it's attention on Reggio di Calabria, and the Straits of Messina where they flew 10, and 20 missions respectively. The Malta-based Naval bombers sunk the Light Cruiser Eugenio di Savoia, 22. Flotiglia Torpediniere (DD), and three Italian transport squadrons. (Squadrone 'Enrichetta', 'Lussino', & 'Vallelunga').
    Attempts by the Strategic Group of Halifaxes based in Athina to bomb Bulgaria continue to be intercepted before reaching their targets, with 6 aerial battles over Karterini, and 6 over Kozani, both in the Salonica area.
    No naval battles in the Med.
    South East Asia Front​
    United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,1​
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,1​
    Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,1​
    Netherlands, France (Government in Exile)​
    SEAF42-08-27_2-min.jpeg
    The Japanese Division on Java continues it's slow trek to take control of the island. Now, Purwakarta, on the northern coast was taken. There is nothing of value in this province. No Allied troops have arrived on the island as the clock continues to tick on most of the Netherlands' remaining Industry and resources.
    SEAF42-08-27_1-min.jpeg
    A Japanese landing on the north-Eastern tip of Sulawesi, saw them take control of both the Naval Base, and the Air Base at Manado without firing a shot. With only a single Division, and a Navy that is still rebuilding it's supply stores, there is little the Dutch can do to counter these incursions.
    SEAF42-08-27_3-min.jpeg
    Things are going from bad to worse in Malaysia. The Japanese forces are rapidly expanding their territory, as the British have now lost Kuala Lumpur, and are about to loose the naval base at Kota Bahru. No reinforcements seem to be forthcoming, and the fall of Singapore now seems to be only a matter of time.
    A total of 47 Japanese bombing raids on Singapore and the Singapore Strait have damaged repair infrastructure and Royal Navy vessels, though no large naval units were sunk in the process.
    Convoy Raiding increased again, with 116 Allied merchant ships sunk by the IJN, and 60 Japanese freighters adorning the seabed courtesy of the Allies.
    Two small naval battles, one in the Straits of Malacca, and the other in the Straits of Karimata ended in favour of the IJN. HMS Galathea (CL) was sunk by 8. Kuchikukantai (DD), and the British 1st Destroyer Flotilla was sunk by the Heavy Cruiser Chokai.
    Top Left, HMS Galatea, a 6,655 tonne Light Cruiser of the Arethusa-class. She was commissioned in 1935. Her Main armament was made up of 6 BL 6" Mk.XXIII Naval guns in 3 twin turrets, two super-firing fore, and one aft. 4 QF 4" Mk.V guns (anti-ship and anti-air) in single mounts and 8 QF 0,5" Mk.III Vickers Machine-guns (AA) in quad mounts provided some more firepower. 2 triple 21" torpedo launchers completed the armament. In 1940, 8 single Oerlikon 20mm AA Cannons and 2 quad 2-pounder Pom-Pom's were added to increase it's AA defence. 4 3-drum boilers provided 64.000 shp, propelling the vessel to a top speed of 32 knots. Armour wasn't too bad for a Light Cruiser, with a 2.25" belt, 1" deck and turret armour, and the 3" magazine protection. As it happened, the vessel was sunk by 2 direct torpedo hits from the old Minekaze-class destroyers of 8. Kuchikunantai.
    Top Right: The Minekaze-class of Japanese Destroyers are getting a bit old, having been ordered during the Great War, and commissioned in 1920-1922. 15 were built, each displacing 1,650 tonnes. Their armament consists of 4 12 cm/45 Type 3 naval guns on single mounts, 2 single 7,7mm Type 97 Machine-Guns, 3 twin 21" torpedo tubes, and 20 mines. Some of the class have since been modified to be convoy escorts, with depth-charge-launchers and Type 96 25mm AA Guns taking the place of the two amidships main guns and two of the twin torpedo launchers. Propulsion is provided by 4 heavy oil-fired boilers powering a pair of Mitsubishi-Parsons Geared steam turbines, giving a power output of 38,500 shp through 2 shafts. The top speed upon launch was 39 knots, but some modified versions with added depth charges and AA guns are limited to 35 knots. Still fast enough to catch up to an Arethusa-class Cruiser.
    Ships-min.jpg
    Bottom: Chokai is a Takao-Class Heavy Cruiser displacing over 15.700 tonnes, commissioned in 1932. It's main armament consists of 10 20 cm/50 Type 3 naval guns mounted in 5 twin turrets, two super-firng forward, two super-firing aft, and one Q turret directly behind the forward guns. As a secondary armament, she sports 4 12,7cm (5") Type 89/40 naval AA guns in twin gun mounts, and up to 66 25mm Type 96 AA Machine-Guns. 8 24" torpedo tubes give her some extra punch. 130.000 hp is provided to 4 shafts, by 12 Kampon boilers through 4 geared steam turbines. This results in a top speed of over 35 knots, respectable for a ship of her size. Her armour is decent, with a 102mm (4") main belt, 127mm (5") protecting the magazines, up to 37mm (1,5") of armour on the main deck, and up to 12,7mm on the upper deck, and 25mm on the turrets. 76-100mm armoured bulkheads, and torpedo bulges, make her more survivable still. The old A-class destroyers of 1st Destroyer Flotilla were quite outmatched, and quickly dispatched by the same 200mm (7,8") guns that sunk HMS Repulse.
    Pacific Front​
    Things have gone quiet in the Pacific, with no fleet actions nor any landings taking place.​
    The Convoy war slowed down here too with Japanese submarines sinking 20 Allied freighters, mostly to the East of Nauru. Allied convoy raiding is down too, with 27 Axis merchant vessels sunk in the Pacific, mostly around Johnston Island. A further 5 were sunk in the Caribbean.

    Industry:
    Working Industrial Capacity / available domestic capacity / available capacity with Lend-Lease: 234 - / 427 - / 563 - The Industrial complexes in Jelgava (1 IC) were lost to the enemy.
    Lend-Lease aid has decreased recently to about 136 IC/day, the average over the last 10 days was about 150 IC/day. There have been 10 days were aid was delivered for a total of 1.505 ICdays.
    The Air Base in Bornholm (Level 2) has been lengthened and paved and a small control tower has been built.
    Smolensk Air Base is now amongst the very largest in the Soviet Union (Level 10), with 5 paved runways, elaborate maintenance, refuelling, and rearming infrastructure, lodgings and dining facilities for thousands of personnel, and VVS office buildings.
    Production of a new type of Naval Base has started. This new system consists of a floating dry-dock and movable floating docks that can be deployed quickly to any appropriate coastal area. This will give us the capacity to create a new Naval Base where needed.
    IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )​
    Upgrades: 86,4 / 103,06
    Reinforcement: 30,80 / 30,83 - The need for reinforcements varies wildly but remains over 20 IC.
    Supplies: 70,00 / 58,57 - Supply stockpiles were starting to get dangerously low, so more supplies were ordered from the US.
    Production: 342,02 / 342,02 - The recovery of lost factories, and another increase in Lend-Lease aid have allowed us to increase production again.
    Consumer Goods: 33,78 / 33,78 - Some of the Lend-Lease aid trickles down to the population, this concerns mostly luxuries, like food.
    Stockpiles:​
    Energy: Maximum tonnes +​
    Metal: 98.228 tonnes -​
    Rares: 48.983 tonnes +​
    Crude: 92.742 cubic metres -​
    Supplies: 31.566 tonnes +​
    Fuel: 98.346 barrels +​
    Money: 1.370 +​

    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 / 1 }​
    { UK (/) : 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​
    Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
    Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 3
    Reserves: 7​
    Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,21 = (a new spy every 29 days)​
    A spy from Hungary was caught in the Soviet Union, along with one from Germany, and another from Japan.

    Research:
    The Carriage and Sights (Level 7) for the new M-10 Howitzer (see previous update), are finally ready for production.
    Funding has been increased for research at our Military academies. With data from the ongoing war at hand, an improved version of the Delay Doctrine (Level 5) will now be developed by our best Red Army theorists. This should also result in increased morale for our Artillery crews.

    Leadership distribution:
    Research: 20,60 (-0,15)
    Espionage: 0,21 =​
    Diplomacy: 1,02 =​
    Officers: 12,00 = (72 Officers/day)
    Total: 33,82 (-0,15) Loss of Jelgava.

    Statistics:
    National Unity: 83,229 - foreign spies are back at it
    Neutrality: 0,00 =​
    Dissent: 0,00 =​
    Manpower:​
    Available: 2.059.000 (-16.000) The reduction in manpower remains manageable, most of it is due to the recruitment of a new Mountain Rifle Division.
    Men To reinforce(need): 14.700​
    Men To mobilise(need): See above​
    Monthly gain: 70.900 Men + (1 fully mobilised Infx3, Art, AT Division every 5,35 days)​
    No changes in Party Organisation, nor in Party Popularity.​

    This Information is accurate on the morning of the 27th of August 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

    'Odin'
     
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    28th of August 1942, 'Chteyre', 'Piat': Show Trial, Tundra Wolf & Sea Eagle
  • roverS3

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    Operation Tundra Wolf has just started, and things are already getting complicated. I've compiled a series of reports that were sent to me over the previous days to attempt to give you a clearer picture of what is going on in Norway. (though we don't know all of it either.)

    The 22nd of August 1942, 'Chteyre', reporting from Oulu:

    Both of our reserve Carrier Air Groups, 1 KPA and 7 KPA, were relocated to Oulu Air Base yesterday evening. Ad hoc ground crews consisting of both Navy and VVS personnel were assigned to tend to the planes. Captain of the Air Fleet (1st Class) Zhavronkov is in overall command of the operation, with the Air Base commander, a VVS Colonel, in charge of the ground operations. The final preparations for operation show trial started at 10am on the 21st. The Il-10VM's and the La-7-VM's fuel tanks were topped off, torpedoes were fitted to the former, and 100kg bombs to the latter. The planes were lined up on the runway, and by 11am, they had all taken off and formed up in the sky above. At the same time, the Swedish ambassador was notified of 'Cold Weather exercises' by our aeroplanes in the far north of Finland.​
    They flew along the Baltic coast, before turning inland along the Swedish border, following the river Törne, then the river Kassanniska, and finally the river Saaripudas. They were briefly spotted by a Swedish Fiat B.R. bomber, likely operating out of Lulea. Of course, our modern aeroplanes quickly outran the lumbering biplane.​
    Once they reached the Atlantic coast, they turned towards the South-West, skimming the mountaintops directly to the South of Tromsö. The enemy was nowhere to be seen right up to the point when Narvik appeared in the distance. Captain Zhavronkov ordered the Il-10VM's to drop to treetop level to make their approach, as the La-7VM's flew ahead at altitude, detracting enemy attention, and preparing to intercept any enemy aeroplanes.​
    NarvikAerialPhoto-min.jpg
    Narvik, as photographed from the South, by the navigator/gunner of an Il-10VM, as it loops around after dropping it's torpedo. The Navy's bombers approached from the left of the shot, flying over the town before hitting the docks and the bay. A low-level approach helps the heavier torpedo-bombers to avoid much of the heavy FlaK.​
    With the AA gunners distracted by the La-7VM's, the Il-10VM's charged over the town, which was crawling with German military personnel and vehicles. The Naval aviators were going straight for the docks. On the ground, a few soldiers tried to hit them with small-arms fire, and a King Tiger even tried to down an La-7VM with an 88mm shell, but it was no use. The torpedoes were dropped without too much disruption and the first of many transport ships was sunk. With no foes in the air, the La-7VM's started to target the Anti-Aircraft Artillery, and the docks themselves, with 100kg bombs and cannon-fire. Once all the ammunition was expended, they returned to base, landing back in Oulu at 4pm, having lost a single Il-10VM, and suffered minor damage to a few other planes. The VVS Colonel is confident the planes will be ready to go again by 7pm.​
    The internal Red Navy report also noted the enemy forces present in Narvik:​
    Land: At least 40.000 troops with the following equipment:​
    • 2 H Arm Brigades' worth of King Tiger Tanks
      • 2 Arm Brigades' worth of Panther Tanks
      • 2 Brigades' worth of FLak-88's on half-tracks and lorries
      • 2 Brigades' worth of Armoured Cars (various models)
      • 4-5 Eng Brigades' worth of bridging vehicles.
      • 4 Brigades' worth of lorries for Motorised forces.
      • 3 Brigades' worth of tents and mules for Gebirgsjäger. (often with skis outside the tents.)
      • 2 of the larger buildings are heavily guarded by military forces. They likely contain headquarters.
    Naval: 10 large transport ships carrying landing craft, along with about 20 smaller vessels. Enough to transport about 35.000 Infantry. (one of the large transports was sunk in the first raid.)​
    Air defences: 5 heavy AAA batteries spread out over the Air Base and the Harbour. The three batteries at the harbour are set up to protect from Aeroplanes coming in from the Atlantic, they are unable to fire on aircraft coming in low from the East until the very last moment, unless they want to destroy the city itself.​
    Harbour: Capacity to do minor repairs to 15-20 Naval Units at the same time, and to ship in about 18.000 tonnes of supplies or 18.000 cubic metres of fuel every day.​
    Air Base: Small Air Field with the capacity to adequately maintain and repair a single Aviation Division or about 100-150 small Airframes. It is currently unoccupied.​
    NarvikPortInstallationBurns-min.jpg
    Narvik's docks are on fire after yet another Soviet Air Raid. This picture was taken from the tower of a Leninets-class submarine, part of Capt. 1st Class Isakov's V FP, which has been raiding enemy convoys off the coast.​
    The aims of operation Show Trial are to destroy Germany's ability to supply it's substantial forces in Narvik by sea, and it's ability to quickly redeploy them to Southern Norway, or the main front, also by sea. The primary targets of the Air Raids are thus the Transport Ships and the docks. It was also an opportunity to gather intelligence, and to provoke a reaction. Meanwhile, the Red Navy is to continue it's preparations for operation 'Tundra Wolf'. The campaign to liberate Norway starting in the South was named after an animal that lives in the Eurasian Arctic Tundra to confuse everyone as to where the naval landings will take place.​

    The 23rd of August 1942,

    'Shest' reporting from Leningrad.​
    I've just heard the news that a Mountain Rifle Division has disappeared at sea off the coast of Tromsö. The NKVD and the GRU are collaborating to get to the bottom of this, with the elusive Major of State Security known only as Finshades taking charge of the investigation. It should be easier for a Fin to fit in in German-occupied Norway than it is for a Russian. He will be smuggled into Sweden form Oulu, and then make his way to the Tromsö area overland. Due to operation Show Trial, German ground forces will be looking towards the sea and the sky, expecting Soviet Ampibious and/or Airborne operations, they will likely let their guard down when it comes to the lengthy border with Sweden. We look forward to his findings and wish him good luck.​
    The 26th of August 1942, early morning,​
    'Piat', reporting from Tallin.​
    The Black Sea Fleet (temporarily operating with the Northern Fleet) has just arrived in Tallinn, and two Divisions of riflemen are being loaded onto the transports at a rapid rate. I will be boarding the Battleship Marat shortly so I can follow the operation first hand.​
    Norway42-08-21-min.jpg
    Operation Tundra Wolf: Starting positions. All counters represent Divisions. Blue dots represent Norwegian Air Bases. Green dots represent Naval bases with no ships in them. Red dots represent naval bases which hold enemy ships.​
    Operation Show Trial seems to be going well, and a lot of damage has already been done, 'Chteyre' has kept me up to date. A small issue seems to have reared it's head, though. More than half of the enemy forces, including half of the Panthers and King Tigers, have packed up and started moving towards the South overland. The Infrastructure directly to the South of Narvik is atrocious, consisting of a single narrow coastal road. Having to move their vehicles single-file, they aren't going anywhere in a hurry. However, this move has set a clock on our operation Tundra Wolf. We need to secure the Southern ports before those tanks make it to Trnodheim. Luckily, Germany's Norway Command is also making moves in the South. The Wehrmacht seems to have left Bergen, Stavanger, and Trondheim undefended. It's not clear where the troops have gone. Those in Trondheim and Bergen seem to have moved inland, and those in Stavanger have likely boarded transports in the harbour. The RBBF and VIII FP are patrolling the approaches to Oslo, Kristiansand, and Stavanger to make sure no transport makes it through.​
    Our biggest bottleneck in securing the South quickly is the time it takes to bring troops over from Tallinn and Kirkenes. With only 2 transports available close-by, it will take three trips out of Tallinn to transport XXIII SK, and a single trip out of Kirkenes to bring over the two remaining Mountain Rifle Divisions of XXXIV GSK. Not accounting for the time needed to land the troops, it will take at least 12 days for XXIII SK to get there, and another 4-5 Days for the Mountain Riflemen. Any delay will give the enemy more time to react.​
    In this context even undefended enemy-held harbours will take precious time to secure from the sea. This is where the VDV comes in, the paratroopers can land and take full control of an undefended harbour a few hours before the navy gets there, allowing for the transport ships to sail right up to the docks and unload very quickly. Now, the question remains: Trondheim, Bergen, or Stavanger?​
    Trondheim is too far from Copenhagen for the Li-2's, so it could only be taken from the Sea, for now. Stavanger is the closest to Copenhagen and Tallinn, but the small German Naval force, of unknown composition, that is docked there, could end up disrupting the Black Sea Fleet, and damage or sink our troop transports upon leaving the Naval Base. Moreover, there is no Air Base in Stavanger. Bergen thus remains as the best option. It has an Air Base, it's overland approaches can be seen from the fjords, and it's within range of the Li-2's.​
    A landing near Oslo is off the table due to the risk of Tirpitz sortieing from Fredrikshavn and sinking the transports when they are at their most vulnerable. The RBBF is on high alert to intercept the German main fleet in case it sorties. Every time the Baltic Fleet transits through the Skaggerack, the RBBF will be there to protect it just in case.​

    The 26th of August, 6pm.

    Chteyre reporting from Oulu.​
    Operation Show Trial is over. It has been a resounding success. All of the enemy transports and landing craft in Narvik harbour have been sunk, and the docks themselves have been blown to smithereens. Bereft of transport ships, the remaining German forces in Narvik have now also started moving towards the South, adding more urgency to operation Tundra Wolf.​
    I'm hitching a ride in an Il-10VM as both 1 KPA and 7 KPA are relocating to Copenhagen overnight.​

    The 27th of August,

    Chteyre reporting from Copenhagen.​
    After a refueling stop on the island of Saaremaa, 1 KPA and 7 KPA have made it to Copenhagen, along with yours truly. Captain Zhavronkov's planes continue to be on high alert to support any naval Battles that could develop.​
    MTB-1_MTB-2-min.jpg
    The Tupolev MTB-1 and MTB-2, the Soviet Union's answer to the age of the flying boats. The MTB-1's had a short production run where 16 were built. They were quite versatile, and could be configured as heavy bombers or as civilian or military transport planes. In the latter case, they could carry 14 passengers each. Despite a somewhat spotty safety record, they were taken into service by Aeroflot in 1936. 15 of them remained in service in 1941 and were promptly transferred to the Red Navy. The MTB-2 was supposed to be the bigger, better, successor to the MTB-1. It used the same engine layout as the B-314 (though it is a bit smaller.) and looked rather promising. It's development was slowed by several engine changes, and the fact they decided to make it amphibious when the first prototype was already flying. The second prototype only started flying in 1937, and the original prototype sank during testing in 1939. The concept looked promising, but in the end no production capacity was allocated. The second prototype did see quite a bit of combat in the baltic, flying 80 reconnaissance and bombing missions. It could carry 2.000 kg of bombs or cargo. The Soviet Union never seems to have focused as much on large flying boats as the US, Germany, France, Japan, and the UK did. There were many designs, a few prototypes, some of them actually decent, but very little production. These two, inn particular, seem to have been prestige projects. Planes that were supposed fly long range luxury passenger services similar to those flown by western flying boats, to put the Soviet Union on the world stage. Of course, the large flying boats were made largely obsolete by the massive number of runways and Airports that were built during WW2. Tupolev stopped working on flying boats all-together after the MTB-2. It took until the 1960's for another flying boat with similar dimensions to be built in the Soviet Union, the Beriev Be-12 'Chayka'.​
    At the Airbase, but also at one of Copenhagen's docks, MajGen. Briukov's 2 VDD is preparing for the airborne assault on Bergen, phase 1 of the loosely defined operation Sea Eagle, the airborne element of operation Tundra Wolf. About 124 Li-2's are taking part, 32 Antonov A-7 gliders, 16 Tupolev MTB-1 flying boats, and both Tupolev MTB-2 flying boat prototypes. The aim will be for the first wave of paratroopers to jump on top of the Air Base, the second wave will then land in gliders close to the harbour. This will be a tricky landing as the areas of flat open ground are rather narrow and flanked by water and steep hills. The third wave, including officers, engineers, political officers, and myself, will then simply land on the water, right next to the docks. If everything goes well, it should all be over within hours.​

    The 27th of August, 10:30

    'Piat' reporting from Eastern Norwegian Trench,​
    The passage through the Skaggerak went off without a hitch. We were escorted by Vice-Admiral Kuznetsov's powerful fleet just in case. Of course, RADM Papanin temporarily subordinated his fleet to the Vice-Admiral. It was nice to see the three Gangut-Class Battleships sail together once again after so many years apart. I'm sure some are wondering whether three Ganguts would be enough to take down Tirpitz quickly. In the Skaggerak, the navigable area is too narrow for Tirpitz to take advantage of it's 15" gun's superior range, and the three Gangut's should be able to put more rounds on target, each having more main guns than Tirpitz, and a similar theoretical firing rate. We'll probably never find out, because we have local Soviet Air Superiority thanks to Copenhagen-based Yak-7's and in case she tries something the Red Navy's Il-10VM's would go straight for the big prize, liekely seriously damaging her with torpedo's and bombs, long before she gets into range with her big guns.​
    We've just been privy to the rumble of the Li-2's radial engines, in combination with the higher pitched whine of the La-7's Klimov V-12's. The first wave of has just passed overhead, with it's escort of La-7's, and the second and third waves are closing in quickly. Sadly we can't see the planes, which are operating using the small onboard navigation radars in the lead La-7. The soldiers cheer as the second waves flies over, though some seasick riflemen are wishing they were in one those aeroplanes.​
    The 28th of August, 8am,

    Chteyre from Bergen, Norway.​
    Herdla_Bergen_AirBase-min.jpg
    Herdla Air Base, about 40 km (by road) from Bergen itself was built by the Luftwaffe in 1940. Having seen little use in the past two years, it will now be quite useful to the VVS.​
    2 VDD executed a picture perfect night-time landing. They are the most experienced Division of the VDV, and they had plenty of time to prepare. It also helped a lot that the Germans and Norwegians on the ground hadn't bothered to turn off the lights. The first wave jumped at midnight, followed half an hour later by the gliders, which expertly slid to a halt on the few suitable surfaces. We touched down in the fjord at 1:25am. Local fishing boats, commandeered by the VDV, or offered up by the locals picked us up to bring us ashore. The damage from sabotage attempts by the local feldgendarmerie was quickly repaired. The Germans had had no plastic explosives, nor dynamite, and only about 20 minutes from the first aeroplane being overhead to getting shot or captured by the VDV. We soon found that many of the dockworkers had been part of Communist or Social Democratic Unions before the war. Many were quite enthousiastic at the prospect of helping the Soviet Union liberate their homeland.​
    The first ship to appear on the horizon was the light cruiser Pamiat Merkuriya, at 4:45 in the morning twilight. By 6am, the entire Black Sea Fleet was in Bergen Harbour. While 2 VDD was still establishing a defensive perimeter to the East of Bergen, and guarding checkpoints all over the place, our regular Riflemen stepped off their boats, and helped by the locals, quickly offloaded the rest of the cargo: Supplies, horses, Artillery (both regular and direct fire AT), SU-100 Tank Destroyers, staff cars, motorcycles, fuel, XXIII SK's mobile headquarters. In all 9.000 Paratroopers, 18.000 regulars, and 1.000 HQ personnel had arrived in Bergen in a few hours. 'Piat' stepped off one of the transports and greeted me. It almost went too smoothly this time around.​
    Bergen.1940-min.jpg
    Bergen's Harbour before the war.​
    With the Black Sea Fleet already steaming towards the Horizon again, having unloaded in less than an hour, we remind ourselves that this is only the first step. If those Panzers make it South of Trondheim, the whole operation could grind to a halt. A Heavy Bomber Division, with it's 81 TB-3's, is already on the way to Bergen Air Base, from where it will relentlessly bomb the roads between the panzers and Trondheim, starting with Mo i Rana, a chokepoint in the network. This will reduce the amount of fuel and supplies that can make it's way north overland, and will make the passage of tanks very difficult.​
    Things have definitely developed in our favour. We have been able to get a good base here, and two more Divisions are inbound, they are expected to reach the Norwegian coast on the 1st of September. The big question is what we do next. But first, we will celebrate this first step.​

    Norway42-08-27-min.jpg
    Operation Tundra Wolf: Known positions on the 28th of August 1942. All counters represent Divisions. Blue dots represent Norwegian Air Bases. Green dots represent Naval bases with no ships in them. Red dots represent naval bases which hold enemy ships. The red X indicates the weak link of the road network between Narvik-Trondheim, Mo i Rana, which will be bombed by TB-3's in the following weeks.​

    The start of Tundra Wolf has been a success. Now, the question is where we shall drop the next two Divisions. Bearing in mind that we will need at least one additional port to support all the allocated troops, when they get there.
    • Stavanger remains very risky as the enemy could likely unload at least one Division from his transports to defend against the Paratroopers before they can take control of the province, and the fleet there means that reinforcing the fight from the sea will put the transport ships at risk.
    • Trondheim would be really handy for the VVS as it would be able to base it's TB-3's closer to the critical infrastructure it wants to bomb. That said, it is the furthest from Tallinn so it will take longer to get the Army there, and it's rather far from Oslo and the other ports in the South, so a link up will take a lot of time.
    • Kristiansand is held by a single Division and a beachhead there would allow the Army to potentially cut the enemy's positions in two by linking up with the Bergen force. This location is also the closest to Tallinn and Copenhagen, meaning that reinforcements will get there quicker. Grabbing Stavanger overland should also be rather quick once sufficient forces are on hand.
    • Narvik also remains on the table as Axis forces there seem to have moved out, save for a few HQ's. However, patience is in order here. The ideal time to take it will probably be once the Panzers are past the half-way point between it and Trondheim. The docks are also heavily damaged, so there isn't much point in rushing in before the Germans have done some repairs.
    • Oslo remains off the table for the same reasons as before.
    For now, Kristiansand is the preferred option, even if it will take some time to land the troops. Trondheim is kept in mind as the next location, potentially as a pure VVS operation, using only a single Paratrooper Division to secure the Air Base and a shorter turn-around time for the TB-3's. Of course, your input on this crucial matter is valued.

    Bergen is ours, we suffered no losses, and reinforcements are on their way. This was a good week for us in Norway, more than enough reasons to raise our glasses and drink to the coming liberation of the Norwegian proletariat,

    'Odin'

    OOC: Something came up, and I also went a bit overboard with additional research, hence the delay. Frist, I found that map of Scandinavia's Infrastructure in 1940, and I just had to use it. Then i went looking for the right pictures, and finally I realised that the geography of Bergen and the distance between docks and Airport mean that sea planes and flying boats make a lot of sense in this situation, so I looked for large and interesting Soviet Flying Boats to take part in the operation.
    For the names of the operations: 'Show Trial' is a play on the British operation 'Judgement'. The 'Tundra Wolf' lives in the same biomes as the 'Arctic Fox'. The (Grey) 'Sea Eagle' is a powerful bird of prey found along the Norwegian coast. Just reminds me of the VDV.
     
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    31st of August 1942, 'Odin': GPW 10-day Report #7
  • roverS3

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    31st of August 1942, Vologda, 2,6°C, 6pm Moscow Time

    'Shest's reports on 'Odinatsat's whereabouts continue to give us an idea of what 'Odinatsat' is up to. Here are the parts that fell outside of the expected day-to-day routine of a teacher and instructor at the Naval Academy.

    22nd of August​
    Major Goleniewsky went out to have lunch with a few colleagues and ended up ignoring them to speak with a certain Senior Lieutenant Viktor Leonov of the 181st Special Reconnaissance Detachment. It's not clear who of the two initiated the conversation, and my agents couldn't get close enough to hear what they were talking about. They clearly got along well.​
    23rd of August​
    Major Goleniewsky usually takes the tramway to and from work, but today, Sergei came to pick her up in her own GAZ M1 after work. He then drove the three of them to an abandoned part of the Admiralty Shipyards, where they halted at one of the smaller buildings, some kind of workshop for small boats. They were met by Lieutenant Sedov and Starshina 1st Class (Sr. Sergeant) Kasharin of the Red Navy.​
    After a few minutes, the large doors of the workshop were opened and Sergei parked the car inside. Then, they all exited the building, locked the doors, and walked off towards the nearby dock. This was the moment one of 'Odinatsat's non-Soviet tails decided to go beyond tracking and observation. As soon as the five were out of earshot, the man walked, quickly but quietly, towards the workshop. He picked the lock on a small side door and made his way inside, after which he stayed there for a few minutes, making no noise, before coming back out and moving away from the area. The suspected American spy managed to lose operative A in a bar in central Leningrad, about one hour later.​
    Meanwhile, operative B, continued to follow Major Goleniewsky from afar. Amongst a bunch of rotting wooden hulls of questionable seaworthiness laid a modern wooden D3-class motor torpedo boat, TK-37 to be precise. Outside of some relatively minor battle damage, the boat was in good shape. For the better part of an hour, Sergei, and the boat's Engineer, Starshina 1st Class Kasharin, poured over the three GAM-34 engines at the rear of the boat. 'Odinatsat' tried to help, but with her broken leg still in a cast, she was relegated to handing tools to the others and occasionally commenting, this seemed to frustrate her somewhat. Junior Lieutenant Sedov, the boat's CO, kept at more of a distance, checking on them every five minutes or so, doing paperwork, checking the condition of the weaponry, asking if Major Goleniewsky didn't need a drink or something, etc. Suddenly, at around 9pm, the engines roared to life, and TK-37 sped off. The agent on the ground had no way to follow the fast MPB. There was nothing about this meeting or the short trip that followed in Lieutenant Sedov's reports.​
    Luckily, operative A, who had just lost the trail of the foreign agent, spotted TK-37, slipping into the fishing harbour later that evening, to drop off Maj. Goleniewsky and Sergei, after which the couple took a taxi home.​
    Given the fact that the GAM-34 engine is based on the Mikulin AM-34 Aeroplane engine, the current hypothesis is that Sergei is going to be doing some work on the engines of TK-37. Considering what he did with the engine in 'Odinatsat's GAZ, I'd bet he's likely going to be improving their performance in some way that may well fall outside of Red Navy regulations, maybe by borrowing some components from the VVS to do so. NKVD assets in the navy have also long known about the torpedo boats and their crew's penchant for modifying their craft. In exchange for services rendered, I guess they get access to a workshop in a discreet location, which should allow them to continue their work on the GAZ-M1.​
    29th of August​
    Over the following days, Sergei and 'Odinatsat' returned to the workshop and the nearby torpedo boat every day, splitting their evenings between working on the car and helping Starshina 1st Class Kasharin work on the engines. Occasionally, they took the GAZ out on a drive around the abandoned part of the shipyard. Foreign spies also kept showing up, but none of them was spotted searching the workshop, or any of Major Goleniewsky's belongings. Maybe my operative A spooked them last time.​
    30th of August 1942,​
    Five cadets of Maj. Goleniewsky's class have gone missing (they weren't being watched). TK-37 also left this morning, with orders to rejoin it's squadron which will soon be relocating to Copenhagen for the coming operations off the Norwegian coast. 'Odinatsat' was at the Naval Academy all day, she taught in the morning, and did some gunnery practice in the afternoon, nothing out of the ordinary. She went back to the shipyard with Sergei, where they spent a few hours in the workshop.​
    31st of August 1942,​
    The cadets still haven't returned. What's particularly suspicious about their disappearance is that they aren't slackers in any way, they're all close to the top of their class.Maj. Goleniewsky, who's teaching them again today, is also acting as if nothing is amiss. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I can't help but feel something is up. I'm sure she knows she's being watched, but I don't know what her lack of action means, if she's really not worried about the disappeared cadets, she either knows where they are, trusts that they will return soon, or she simply doesn't care, or doesn't want to be seen to care, whether by the Americans or the NKVD. It could all be unrelated, or she could be planning to disappear on us too and the cadets are somehow involved in this. Of course, she will remain under close watch, while a small navy task force, assisted by some NKVD personnel, searches for the missing naval infantry cadets. You know, she was unpredictable back in Paris, and now she's playing with my nerves again. I don't like it.​
    As there have been no clear signs of her actually betraying the Soviet Union, let alone the Committee, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. 'Shest's nerves will just have to take the strain for now.

    Let's now go to the War Reporting for the last 10 days:

    Arctic Front (NOR): XXXIV GSK / 1st AG / Leningrad HQ:
    Nothing new to report.

    Finland (Finnish SSR): NKGBF / Leningrad HQ:
    The 3-Brigade, 2-pronged, rebel attack on Kuusjärvi (1), having started at 9am on the 21st, was still ongoing when Sr.Maj.GB Galanin T.I.'s Mounted Brigade hit 1st and 4th Finnish Partisans in their North-Western flank (2) at 10pm the same day. The stubborn insugrents continued to press home the attack, and it was only 2 hours after Sr.Maj.GB Belous's 2 NKGBKB attacked the third Partisan Brigade in Ohtari (3) at 4am on the 23rd, that they halted their advance. Joenssu was eventually cleared of rebels at midnight 2 days later. With no-where to run two the trapped partisans in Ohtari fought on until 8am on the 26th before surrendering. About 2.800 insurgents were taken into captivity, and close to 500 killed, for fewer than 100 dead state security personnel. The NKGBF is now repositioning to strike the final blow to the insurgency.
    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners (of War)
    Finnish Insurgents19.0814852.799
    Soviet Union18.000990
    42-08-31_FPF-min.jpg


    Norwegian Front (Norway): XXIII SK / Leningrad HQ:
    An unopposed Airborne Assault by 2 VDD secured Bergen shortly before reinforcements arrived by ship to be disembarked on the 28th. See 'Tundra Wolf & Sea Eagle'.
    42-08-31_NOR-min.jpg

    Danish Front (DANF): XXXIII SK / Leningrad HQ:
    2 Italian Divisions lead by GenDiv (MajGen) Calcagno attacked across the Great Belt Strait towards Slagelse at 7pm on the 21st. A mere 2 hours in, half the little boats, containing Calcagno's own 32a DivFan turned around, leaving GenDiv Caracciolo di Feroleto's elite 2a DivAlp to fend for itself. All night the famed Alpini attempted again and again to form a beachead in the face of 4 dug-in Rifle Divisions, by 9am the beach was littered with Italian corpses, and the Alpini had withdrawn.
    On the 28th, the Bulgarian army decided to emulate the Italians with a 3am attack. An Infantry Division, and a Cavalry Division tried to make their way across under heavy fire, but by noon, they too retreated back to the relative safety of the German-Held side of the Great Belt. Over 900 Italian, over 800 Bulgarian, and fewer than 30 Soviet casualties were counted.
    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in action:Prisoners (of war):
    Italy11.9729140
    Bulgaria13.5448280
    AXIS25.5161.7420
    Soviet Union87.969260
    42-08-31_DKF-min.jpg

    Baltic Fleet & Northern Fleet: (Baltic Sea, North Sea & Norwegian Coast) RBBF & NF / Leningrad HQ:
    The convoy war rages on in the same places it did 10 days ago. Oslo & Kristiansand are the German preferred ports for the transport of supplies and fuel to their troops in Norway. Many German Merchant ships get caught by our submarines and surface vessels. German convoys to the Baltic Fronts also keep getting sunk in the Eastern Baltic.

    The Black Sea Fleet (BSF) is ferrying the second wave of troops towards Norway for a landing in Kristiansand. (unless the facts on the ground change before the fleet gets there)

    42-08-31_SCAN-min.jpg
    Air to ground / Air to sea damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Germany3.121 Naval Base Infrastructure
    6 Heavy AA guns
    14. TTF (CL) & 15. TTF (LC)
    1.319 KM personnel KIA
    2,478 Infrastructure
    80.337 t of Supplies
    7.167 m^3 of Fuel
    00000
    AXIS1.319 KIA
    Soviet Union01263 x La-7VM (CAG)4 x La-7VM (CAG)70 x TB-3 (Str)
    63 x Il-10 (CAG)
    0 x TB-3 (Str)
    4 x Il-10 (CAG)
    The Logistical Bombing of Mo i Rana is going well (big vertical bomb), and soon all the Panzers to it's north (aka all the German Panzers in Norway) will be cut off from their lifeline to Oslo. Narvik remains heavily damaged thanks to our own bombing missions (indicated by the torpedoes aimed at Narvik). For good measure, V SK is positioned off shore to catch any enemy merchant vessel that may try to relieve the enemy force there.

    Main Front Overview:
    42-08-31_GPW_Front_Zoom-min.jpg

    The arrows indicate changes in the front over the last 10 days.
    The vignettes: bottom right: a Pzkpfw. IV F2 moving towards the front / top left: A pair of T-34/76's on the offensive.

    1st Baltic Front (1st BALT F. / Latvian SSR): 2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ:
    "Those GAZ half-tracks are rubbish! Sure, they're fast, but they can't even stand up to a couple of German At-Guns without bursting into flames. Maybe I should have gone into the Infantry after all, at least there you can jump into a ditch when the enemy starts shooting."
    - A rather angry and grief-stricken Armoured Cavalry Sergeant with burns all over his body. He was the only survivor of his squad after their half-track was caught in a trap between two Pak-88's during the 5th battle of Jelgava (3). Overheard in a Bauska Field Hospital.

    A 7-Division, three-pronged, attack into Riga (1) started at 7pm it was called off at 9pm.

    At the same time, genlt. von Bismarck launched a 4-Division all-Infantry pincer attack (2) on Jelgava. Gerasimov's two Rifle Divisions, though individually more numerous than their German counterparts, didn't really have an answer to the enemy's superior numbers. With reinforcements unavailable as the troops in Bauska were still reorganising from the aborted push into Riga, Jelgava fell at midnight on the 23rd. Over 1.000 oviet riflemen were lost for close to 700 of the enemy.

    There were two further attempts to retake Jelgava (3), both were rather shortlived. First, on the 25th, there was a 2-Division which encountered a single enemy formation, only to halt the offensive due to exhaustion. MajGen Rodin A.G.'s 29 KavD arrived in Bauska the next morning, and by 10 am the Armoured Cavalry charged into Jelgava (3). They found it defended by all of Genlt. von Bismarck's 4 Infantry Divisions, though they were now commanded by Harpe. Nevertheless, they pressed on, in anticipation of coming reinforcements. It was only 34 hours later that 235 SD managed to reinforce the push, by which time the Cavalry had lost quite a few T-70's and many men. By the 28th, the Cavalrymen were starting to falter, and at 8pm, they had to retreat. In a last-ditch attempt to save the offensive, MajGen. Kononov rushed in his T-34's to plug the gap, but it was too little too late, and at midnight, as the riflemen of 235 SD started to break ranks, he called it quits. Over 1.800 of our servicemen lost their lives in the action, for a mere 550 of the enemy. There are some fights even the elite Armoured Cavalry can't handle.

    A push by 203 MSD into Dobele from the South (4) wasn't much more successful. Facing 31 ID and a Bulgarian Cavalry Unit, they were at a slight disadvantage which showed more and more as the battle wore on. The operation was halted at 2am on the 28th, after 26 hours of fighting.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in action:Prisoners (of war):
    Bulgaria6.000730
    Germany89.8381.6050
    AXIS95.8381.6780
    Soviet Union163.1503.1460
    42-08-31_BAL1-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Germany6494 x FW-190 (Ftr)12 x FW-190 (Ftr)167 x Ju-88 (Tac)13 x Ju-88 (Tac)
    AXIS1.067 KIA64
    Soviet Union0 KIA57372 x Yak-7 (Int)
    248 x La-7 (Ftr)
    29 x Yak-7 (Int)
    6 x La-7 (Ftr)
    402 x Yak-4 (Tac)11 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    LtGenAv. Golovanov's Yak-4's flew 2 missions over Dobele on the 22nd in support of the battle of Jelgava (2).

    On the 27th II BAK took it's turn, as LtGenAv. Yakovlev's unit flew 2 missions over Dobele, and 2 more the next day over Jelgava, now in enemy hands.

    Genlt. Sperrle's Ju-88's made an attempt to bomb our troops in Bauska on the 28th, but they were intercepted by LtGenAv. Vorozheikin's 372 Yak-7's, before they could drop any bombs on target. The three hour aerial battle resulted in 25 downed enemy aircraft, for 29 of our own.

    2nd Baltic Front (2nd BALT F. / Lithuanian SSR North of the Memel): 2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ:
    "Thank Comrade Stalin for the Armoured Cavalry! Those bastards in their tin cans saved our hides when even the Guards Riflemen left us to die."
    A Lieutenant of 90 SD after the very hard-fought victory in the 2nd battle of Taurage (10).

    12 TD and 7 KavD, lead by MajGen Berzarin, charged into Sauliai (2) at 1pm on the 21st. Initialy the T-34's and Armoured Cavalry were sweeping aside genlt. von Kempski's German and Hungarian Infantry units, but at 7pm, our base in Panevezys was hit (3) by genlt. Röttiger's 16 PzGrd. Unphased by the pressure, Berzarin pressed home his attack, even with some of his units diverted to hold his base, along with reinforcements from 17 SD & 105 SD. von Kempski's forces broke by 10pm on the 23rd, but Berzarin's forces were pinned down by Röttigers, and unable to take control of the province.

    What was a problem for our forces in Panevezys, was an opportunity for MajGen. Reiter's corps-sized armoured force in Pasvalis. At 1am on the 23rd, 3 Tank Divisions and 29 KavD charged into the flanks of Röttiger's 16 PzGrD in Joniskis (5), the presence of 1 Pesi Divize in the province proved only a minor inconvenienced to our tankers. Two hours later, the Panzergrenadiers halted their offensive into Panevezys (3) to concentrate on defending their positions from Reiter's T-34's. It was too little too late as 1 Pesi Divize retreated by noon, followed almost immediately by the exhausted 16 PzGrD. The forces in Panevezys suffered over 700 casualties for almost 1400 enemies.

    Meanwhile, 1-va Kd, (Bulgarian Cavalry) got into Siauliai before it could be occupied by three Soviet Divisions, they were routed before they could even get off their horses. (2 & 4)

    Less than a day later, at 9am on the 24th, ltgen. Höpner's 1 ID attacked our forces in Siauliai (7). Only 203 MSD had made it there. MajGen. Kreizer's unit had barely started to dig in, and his efforts to Delay the enemy faltered in the face of the enemy's agressive Shock tactics. In the end, the arrival of the Armoured Cavalry saved the day. 7 KavD reinforced the defending riflemen at 6am on the 26th, and by 9pm the Germans attacks halted. Casualties were over 400 riflemen for close to 700 enemy Infantry.

    Buoyed by victory, MajGen Levandovski had 7 KavD probe enemy defenses in Plunge (8) at 1am on the 27th, and again 24 hours later. The area was held by 4 Axis Divisions lead by the rather skilled Bulgarian General Ivan Valkov (SK3, DD, OG) of 1-va Armiya. Valkov is a veteran of the great war who was Minister of War, then Bulgarian Ambassador to Italy until 1934. He was called back out of retirement to fight in the war. (This interesting figure is represented in the game as General 'Vulkov', though the picture is clearly Ivan Valkov.)

    After securing Raseinai, MajGen. Petrushevskij launched a follow-up attack on Taurage (10) at 4pm on the 23rd, using his own 90 SD and 76 GvSD. This was rather courageous, as genlt. von Pfeffer-Wildenbruch had 4 German Infantry Divisions at his disposal to fend it off. Despite steadily mounting losses, and viscious enemy counter-attacks that disrupted their assaults, our riflemen held their own. Only on the 26th did units start to fall out of line, first to break were 76 GvSD and 143 ID, both withdrawing on the 26th. With both sides of the ongoing battle disorganised and exhausted, the arrival of a fresh 16 KavD on the 28th decided the outcome of the battle. At 4pm, the province was ours, for the low price of close to 2.700 servicemen for over 2.100 of the enemy.

    A Heavy German attack (from Jurbarkas) on Kaunas was called off after 2 hours on the evening of the 21st.

    The ongoing attack on Ariogala (6), by MajGen. Hadeev's 19 SD continued unabated, facing off against genlt. Fischer W's 196 ID, and the Comando Superiore Forze Armata Africa Settentrionale, which found it self slightly further north than it's name might suggest. Despite enemy numerical superiority, Hadeev's men managed to keep up the pressure until 53 SD reinforced them at noon on the 22nd. Victory was achieved at 9pm on the 24th, it had been costly, with over 1.300 soviet, 700 German, and over 1.000 Italian killed in action.

    A single-Division assault into Jurbarkas (9) was less successful. Starting at 4pm on the 26th, and ending in a Soviet withdrawal 12 hours later, this drawn-out probe cost us close to 700 men for fewer than 130 kills.

    As soon as 82 MSD arrived in Ariogala, at 10am on the 27th, they came under attack from Jurbarkas (11). 7 PzD and 168 ID, under the command of genlt. Wünnenberg. The riflemen did what they could, with MajGen Antonov A.I. ordering Elastic Defense tactics to slow down the enemy's Blitz attacks. However, reinforcements were slow to advance, and by 9am the next day, they had to call it quits, having suffered over 1.200 for fewer than 500 of the enemy.

    2pm on the 29th, saw another short battle for Ariogala (6). A spent 7 PzD was quickly chased away. This was followed by another attack on Jurbarkas at 7am on the 31st (12). Facing three Infantry Divisions executing frequent counter-attacks, the offensive was halted at 6pm.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Bulgaria6.0001550
    Slovakia8.9071200
    Italy8.9891.0490
    Hungary17.2441470
    Germany204.6685.7640
    AXIS245.80872350
    Soviet Union319.7927.5060
    42-08-31_BAL2-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Germany43+84+39+46x4242 x Me-109 (Int)
    176 x FW-190 (Ftr)
    43 x Me-109 (Int)
    84 x FW-190 (Ftr)
    216 x Hs-129 (CAS)
    349 x Ju-88 (Tac)
    39 x Hs-129 (CAS)
    46 x Ju-88 (Tac)
    AXIS3.416 KIA
    Soviet Union130 KIA93+12+60+6742 x Yak-7 (Int)
    372 x La-7 (Ftr)
    93 x Yak-7 (Int)
    12 x La-7 (Ftr)
    495 x Il-10 (CAS)
    201 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    30 x Il-10 (CAS)
    3 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    With most of the fighting on the ground concentrated in this area, both Air Forces put in that little bit of extra effort to support their troops.

    LtGenAv. Rudenko's Il-10's flew a total of 15 missions resulting in over 2.000 enemy casualties: 3 over Siauliai on the 22nd, 2 over Ariogala on the 23rd, 8 over Taurage from the 24th to the 27th, and 2 over Jurbarkas on the 28th.

    V ShAK, LtGenAv. Goryunov's unit also chipped in, flying 3 missions over Joniskis during the crucial early stages of the breakthrough (22nd-23rd), and a further 4 over Pogegen on the 30th and 31st.

    The Yak-4's of LtGenAv. Yakovlev's II BAK flew a further 4 missions over Plunge on the 25th and 26th.

    Both Genlt. Mähnke's FK II (Ju-88) and Genlt. Kitzinger's 3 FD (3. flieger-division / Hs-129) were intercepted before they could reach their targets: The former, on the 23rd, by LtGenAv. Astakhov's Yak-7's over Panevezys (1), and the latter, on the 24th, by LtGenAv. Eremin's II IAK over Siauliai (3).

    Klepke's JK I (Me-109) was intercepted on the 23rd over Pogegen (2) by Astakhov's 360 Yak-7's. The afternoon battle resulted in 43 downed Messerchmitts (out of 242), and 48 lost Yak-7's.

    FK VI (Ju-88), Genlt. Dörstling's unit, did manage to drop it's bombs on our forces in Siauliai (4), before being intercepted by Eremin's fighters.

    3rd Baltic Front (3rd BALT F. / Lithuanian SSR South of the Memel): 2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ:
    42-08-31_BAL3-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Germany9,248 Infrastructure
    220.049 t of Supplies
    23.732 m^3 of Fuel
    16258 x Me-109 (Int)16 x Me-109 (Int)00
    AXIS016
    Soviet Union016800162 x TB-3 (Str)21 x TB-3 (Str)
    Only Kalinin's TB-3's were active in this area, destroying infrastructure and stockpiles on the Southern bank of the Memel:

    The 21st saw 2 missions over Kybartai.

    Over Labiau on the 23rd, things didn't go entirely to plan as I DBAK was intercepted shortly after dropping it's first bombs, at 9am, by Klepke's Me-109's, over 250 of them. The Fighter Aviation Corps in the area were all otherwise occupied, so the lumbering Tupolevs had to try to evade the onslaught on their own. 19 Heavy bombers were lost for 16 Me-109s shot down, before they could break away and return to base. 2 DBAD had taken the lion's share of the losses, and was quite disorganised. They were pulled back to Moscow, and would be sent out to Norway the next day, where they would be safe from enemy fighters.

    1 DBAD did go back into the fray, flying a further 8 missions over Labiau (24th to 27th), and 4 missions over Cranz (28th to 31st), with no further incidents.

    1st Byelorussian Front (1st Byel. F. / Byelorussian SSR Nyoman/Memel bend): 2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ:
    After a week of calm, there was a short flurry of activity on the 28th. A single-Division Bulgarian attack on Mosty (1) starting at 3am was easily repulsed MajGen Zakharov M.V.'s 3 Motorised Rifle Divisions, ending by 1pm, with over 600 Bulgarians dead for 24 Soviets. This was followed by two single-Division Red Army probes into Sokolka (2), the first at 2pm, and the second at 7pm. Both lasted little more than an hour, and both revealed that one Division would not be enough to oust the near 30.000 strong Axis force from the area.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in action:Prisoners (of war):
    Bulgaria6.000170
    Germany53.8986050
    AXIS59.8986220
    Soviet Union53.9542080
    42-08-31_BEL1-min.jpg

    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    AXIS230 KIA0000
    Soviet Union0 KIA2124 x La-7 (Ftr)0 x La-7 (Ftr)201 x Yak-4 (Tac)1 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    LtGenAv. Yakovlev's II BAK flew a single ground attack mission over Sokolka on the 31st.

    2nd Byelorussian Front (2nd Byel. F. / Byelorussian SSR between the Nyoman & Prypyat): 2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ:
    A Bulgarian Infantry Attack on Zelva (1) started at 7pm on the 21st, and was easily shrugged off by 16 MSD, and the T-34's of 1 GvTD. After 24 hours, close to 700 Bulgarians laid dead in the forest, for 30 of our own. In response, MajGen. Kirponos launched a 3-pronged, 3-Division offensive to take Wolkowysk at 7am on the 27th. Numerical, and fire, superiority over the Hungaro-Bulgarian Infantry force facing them lead to an easy victory with minimal losses by 6pm, a good day's work.

    Two Armoured Cavalry Divisions struck Swislocz (2) at 2pm on the 22nd. Attacking from two direction, they swept aside a near 25.000 strong German-Hungarian Infantry force under Bulgarian Command, in 25 hours and with minor casualties. MajGen. Kurochkin P.A.'s Cavalrymen didn't get a chance to celebrate their victory as they came under attack from a pair of fresh German Infantry Divisions under Genlt. Köstring as soon as they arrived in Swislocz (3). 3 KavD was engaged at 4am on the 24th, with 6 KavD reinforcing the next day at 1pm. Despite numerical superiority, and the one-sided use of Armoured vehicles, our exhausted forces withdrew at 1pm on the 27th. The enemy paid dearly for his victory with over 900 German KIA's, for fewer than 600 Soviet ones.

    At 1pm on the 29th, and with the combined power of 2 Motorised Rifle Division and 1 Armoured Cavalry Division, 5 PzD was put under serious pressure to vacate Bereza (5). By midnight the battle was won, with minimal casualties suffered.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Hungary11.9881460
    Bulgaria17.9948840
    Germany42.0941.4960
    AXIS72.0762.5260
    Soviet Union125.9078930
    42-08-31_BEL2-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    AXIS310 KIA0000
    Soviet Union0 KIA2124 x La-7 (Ftr)0 x La-7 (Ftr)248 x Il-10 (CAS)1 x Il-10 (CAS)
    III ShAK's Il-10's flew two missions over Hajnowka on the 27th in support of the battle of Swislocz.

    1st Ukrainian Front (1st Ukr. F. / Ukrainian SSR between the Prypyat & Western Bug): 3 AG & Arm AG / Brjansk HQ:
    "They may have sent in an elite Division named after their beloved Führer, but we are Guards Riflemen supported by the mightiest tanks the Motherland has to offer. We are the best the Red Army has to offer. We will send them right back across the Bug and we will give Hitler's bodyguard a bloody nose. It will be a personal message to the Führer." - MajGen. Vatutin of 3 TTGvD before the 7th battle of Luboml. (5)

    Kowel (1) was hit at 7pm on the 21st, by 228 ID and 9a DivAlp., under the command of Genlt. von Beyer. MajGen. Kozlov's single rifle Division, though outnumbered and outmatched, was dug in in the forest, allowing it to hold it's own. On the 23rd, things got worse as, with no Soviet reinforcements forthcoming, 30 ID joined in on the Axis side at 2pm. Nevertheless, 179 SD fought on, making the enemy pay for every metre of ground, until 5pm on the 24th, when the exhausted riflemen were given the order to withdraw. They left close to 1.100 of their comrades behind, having killed close to 800 enemy soldiers.

    40km to the South, MajGen Chernyak sought to exploit a weak point of the Axis line in Switaz (2). 54 SD attacked at 7pm on the 21st, facing off against Genlt. von Mackensen's 46 ID. After a good first day of fighting, Chernyak ordered a full-on Assault at 7pm, but von Mackensen had the better of him, blunting the forward elements of our forces with relentless Counter-Attacks. After that disappointing day, the attack was slowly turned back as our troops found the enemy still better organised than themselves. The operation was finally called off at 3am on the 25th, with over 900 losses on both sides.

    Having occupied Kowel, 9a Div.Alp. and 30 ID, lead by the Italian GenDiv. Fautili, proceded to hit Rozyszcze (4) at 7pm on the 28th. MajGen. Chernyak, with three Rifle Divisions at his disposal to defend the forested area, enjoyed numerical superiority, but his troops were weary and tired. Barely 2 hours into the battle, his own 54 SD broke ranks, and he was forced to hand off the battle to MajGen. Dement'ev. The latter's command also came to an abrupt end as 23 SD withdrew a mere 24 hours later. MajGen. Kozlov's heroic, but equally exhausted, 179 SD held on until morning, finally breaking at 9am on the 30th. German forces have yet to occupy the area. The enemy paid for his victory, with over 300 German, and close to 400 Italian casualties, for fewer than 260 of our own.

    With little regard for casualties, Genlt. Gudowius ('Odinatsat's captor) ordered his own SSD 'LSSAH', 45 ID, and 2 ID (mot), to cross the river Bug to attack Luboml (3) at 7pm on the 21st. MajGen. Ptuhin's 2 Rifle Divisions, including a regiment of SU-100's, were dug in on the Eastern bank of the Bug, determined to turn the water red with teutonic blood. The riflemen gave their all, holding off the Germans for 3 whole days, but they kept coming, no matter how many of their corpses floated down the river. Once Gudowius' forces obtained a solid bridgehead, they exacted their revenge, killing close to 1.200 defenders before Ptuhin called the retreat. Close to 1.900 Germans were killed in this latest crossing of the Bug.

    SSD 'LSSAH', the first enemy unit to arrive in Luboml, was met with a nasty surprise when it got there, at 8am on the 26th. MajGen. Vatutin's 3 TTGvD was advancing on their position (5), IS-2's and all. Luckily for genlt. Gudowius, 2 ID(mot) managed to reinforce his tenuous positions by 4pm. A rare miscalculation by Vatutin bought the Germans even more time as a daring Blitz Attack by his IS-2's was neutralised through German Elastic Defence tactics on the 27th. 113 SD joined in the fight at 4am on the 28th, reinvigorating the Soviet attack, just in time to counter the near simultaneous arrival of 45 ID in Luboml. Gudowius' own SSD 'LSSAH' was the first to break at 6pm the same day, pushing the odds in our favour. Genlt. Förster took over the faltering defensive action, until his 2 ID (mot) broke in turn at 8pm the next day. In a mirrored repeat of the previous battle, Genlt. Felbers found itself defending Luboml on it's own, holding off the Red Army's Heavy tanks and Guards Riflemen for a further 22 hours, before withdrawing back to where it came from, handing Vatutin a hard-fought victory. With close to 1.700 Soviet and 2.200 German losses, it was yet another bloodbath. The fact that the larger share of the blood that covered the plains of Luboml was Germanic was scant comfort for the families of our dead.

    In an attempt to roll up the German line on the Bug's Western bank from the South, MajGen. Tiulenev launched a two-Division attack on Zamosc (6) at 3am on the 28th. With no geographical obstacles in the way, his troops being better rested, and slightly more numerous than Genlt. Krüger W's two Division's worth of Infantry, Tiulenev had good reason to be optimistic about his chances. 11 SD and 104 SD were making good progress when they came under heavy attack on their Eastern flank at 7pm on the 30th. (battle still ongoing) The offensive was cut short at 9pm as the now weary riflemen scrambled to defend themselves from this new threat. Over 1.400 Soviets and close to 1.750 Germans laid dead in Zamosc.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Italy17.9877400
    Germany81.7007.3670
    AXIS99.6878.1070
    Soviet Union108.6206.7750
    42-08-31_UKR1-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Slovakia9900107 x A.30433 x A.304
    Germany2757 x Me-109 (Int)27 x Me-109 (Int)00
    AXIS5.691 KIA126
    Soviet Union0 KIA101496 x Yak-7 (Int)
    491 x La-7 (Ftr)
    10 x Yak-7 (Int)
    11 x La-7 (Ftr)
    492 x Il-10 (CAS)
    402 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    35 x Il-10 (CAS)
    10 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    LtGenAv. Zhigarev's I ShAK flew 6 ground attack missions over Chelm (22nd-24th / Battle of Luboml), causing over 1.000 enemy casualties. It was intercepted at 9am by Genmaj. Fisser's JG 4 on the 24th. The Jagdgeschwader was barely over half strength, boasting a measly 53 Me-109s. Nevertheless, with no Yak-7's inbound, and some help from AA-Artillery they managed to shoot down 26 Il-10s, losing 23 fighters to the escorting La-7's in the process. Needless to say, the now 30-strong Geschwader wasn't seen again, but I ShAK still flew it's evening mission before rotating to the rear for rest, repairs, and reinforcements.

    Also on the 24th, 107 Slovakian A-304 Assault Bombers of 1 BombPluk appeared in the skies over Kowel. They were intercepted at 5am, before they could drop any bombs on target. It had all the makings of a turkeyshoot, but at 6am, JG 4, Genmaj. Fisser's half-strength geschwäder of Me-109's showed up to defend the Slovak bombers. LtGenAv. Rog's 496 Yak-7's made short work of the lubering Slovakian planes, shooting down 33 enemy bombers before they fled the area. Mostly due to Fisser's Me-109's, 10 Yak-7's were lost in the fighting, though they did take a further 4 Me-109's with them.

    The Il-10's of II ShAK flew 8 missions over Luboml (27th-30th), killing over 1.200 enemy combattants.

    LtGenAv. Yakovlev's Yak-4's flew 6 missions over Maloryta (22nd-24th / Battle of Kowel), and 3 over Kowel (28th & 30th / Battle of Rozyszcze).

    I BAK's Yak-4's were even more active, flying 4 missions over Switaz (23rd-24th), 1 mission over Chelm (25th / Battle of Luboml), and 5 missions over Zamosc (28th-30th / Battle of Zolkiew).

    2nd Ukrainian Front (2nd Ukr. F. / Ukrainian SSR between the Western Bug & Dniestr): 3 AG / Brjansk HQ:
    "Look at that. We seem to have struck a nerve. Half of Army Group South is bearing down on us. We must be doing something right! Now, let's try to stop them."
    - MajGen Badanov of 77 GvSD after his division came under fire from close to 50.000 Axis troops during the 2nd Battle of Rawa Ruska. Casualties were atrocious, but the Guards managed to hang on, for 12 hours, to some Western Polish real estate. Plenty of medals will surely be awarded for their bravery.

    77 GvSD's advance into Rawa Ruska (1) was delayed by the arrival of a battered 6 ID in the area at 4pm on the 23rd, by 3 hours. Fresher, but less numerous Hungarian Infantry proved more of a roadblock upon their arrival at 7am the next day. MajGen. Badanov's Guards Riflemen needing 26 hours to deal with 6 Gly, before finally occupying Rawa Ruska (1).

    Faced with the presence of 77 GvSD in an area on their side of the Litvinov-von Neurath line, the OKH pulled out all the stops to throw them out of Rawa Ruska (4). Genlt. von Cochenhausen took the lead of a massive force of 5 German Infantry Divisions (2 of them Motorised), 1 Bulgarian Infantry Division, and 6 sPzD. They attacked MajGen. Badanov Guards Riflemen from 4 sides at noon on the 26th. Faced with more than six times their number, under fire from all sides, they held on for 10 hours before breaking ranks. Close to 1.300 of their number had been killed, more than 100 every hour, for barely more than 70 enemies.

    MajGen. Odintsov's 13 SD in Jaworow (2), having come under heavy attack at 4pm on the 20th, continued to hold the Eastern bank of the river San against Genlt. von Cochenhausen's 4 sPzD. The battle started to turn in the enemy's favour when 60 ID reinforced the attack at 7pm on the 24th. The Infantry wasn't bogged down by lorries and King tigers, making a river-crossing significantly less hazardous. Our forces were already weary from the constant game of cat and mouse they had been playing with the enemy's heavy panzers across the river, and during the night the enemy broke through the line to establish a beachhead. Once it became clear what had happened, Odinstov quickly realised his troops didn't stand much of a chance against fresher enemy soldiers backed up by King Tigers on their side on the river. 13 SD was withdrawn at 10am on the 25th, leaving behind 1.000 dead riflemen, and having killed close to 900 enemies.

    Arriving too late to reinforce the routed 13 SD, at 1pm, 74 SD attempted to push the Germans back into the San (3). Making little headway, they called it quits 5 hours later.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Hungary5.9992730
    Bulgaria8.909150
    Germany71.5689640
    AXIS86.4761.2520
    Soviet Union53.9982.5740
    42-08-31_UKR2-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    AXIS1.841 KIA0000
    Soviet Union0 KIA26124 x La-7 (Ftr)4 x La-7 (Ftr)248 x Il-10 (CAS)11 x Il-10 (CAS)
    Marshall Av. Novikov's own II ShAK flew 7 missions over Jaroslaw (22nd-25th / Battle of Jaworow), eliminating over 1.300 targets. This was followed by a single attack on Jaworow on the 25th. After some missions to the North, the Il-10's returned to fly 2 missions over Przemysl today (31st / Battle of Zolkiew)

    3rd Ukrainian Front (3rd UF. / Hungarian Border West of Skole) 3 AG & 4 AG / Odessa HQ:
    "And there goes another one, up in flames. Hey Fritz! Just keep sending in those Panzer's. We've just gotten a new batch of AP rounds, they're just waiting for you to be fired."
    An Artillery Sergeant lightening the mood of his crew manning a well-positioned 100mm BS-3 Anti-Tank Gun in the Hills of Drohobycz (2). Even after 4 days of shooting enemy vehicles, 8 PzD keeps sending in tanks, and they keep getting destroyed. As it stands the battle ended the next morning.

    At 7pm on the 21st, MajGen. Lvov launched an ambitious 2-Division offensive to take the hills at Svalava (1), held by 5 Hungarian Units. Despite routing one of the enemy Divisions, it proved unsuccessful, and with more than 600 dead riflemen for fewer than 300 of the enemy, the operation was halted at 3pm the next day.
    Another attempt was made on the 24th as MajGen. Vinogradov's 27 SD charged into Svalava (1) at 1am, only to withdraw at noon in the face of stiff resistance, having 4 men for every enemy killed.

    Meanwhile, Genlt. Kirchner's attack on Drohobycz, started at 1pm on the 19th, continued in full force with 8 PzD and a Hungarian Infantry Division charging down MajGen Ermakov's dug-in 143 SD, and the recently arrived 56 SD, in the dense forest. On the 23rd, a series of sudden enemy breakthroughs caught Ermakov's men unawares while they were still setting up their ambushes. This lead to the rout of his Division, with the last elements withdrawing at 6pm. MajGen. Novikov V.V.'s 56 SD continued the fight on it's own, and it soon became clear that executing those breakthroughs had sapped the last of the enemy's energy and organisation. Kirchner's exhausted forces were forced to withdraw at 7am on the 24th, leaving behind over 1.700 dead bodies. 1.200 casualties were counted on our side.

    A probe into Uzhorod (3) a few hours later showed, at a cost of over 350 men, that Kirchner's two retreating Divisions were shielded by 2 fresh Hungarian units.
    Hungarian forces probed our defences in Drohobycz (4) from Svalava that afternoon, sustaining fewer than 100 casualties.
    56 SD went on another probing short mission at 10am on the 26th, this time in Svalava (5), revealing the province to be defended by 5 units, including 4 PzD at the cost of close to 200 casualties.

    In spite of that last probe, or maybe because of it, MajGen. Lvov ordered a full-out 2-pronged, 2-Division attack on Svalava (1 & 5) at 9pm on the 26th. The result was predictable and regrettable. As both 182 SD, and 176 SD withdrew, at noon the next day, after 17 hours of fighting in the Hungarian hills, outnumbered 2 to 1, over 650 Soviet and fewer than 250 enemy casualties were counted.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Germany29.6061.6830
    Hungary173.1148110
    AXIS202.7202.4940
    Soviet Union109.6333.4060
    42-08-31_UKR3-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Hungary126363 x CR.42 (Int)34 x CR.42 (Int)99 x Ju-87 (CAS)46 x Ju-87 (CAS)
    AXIS1.265 KIA126
    Soviet Union0 KIA63372 x Yak-7 (Int)
    248 x La-7 (Ftr)
    0 x Yak-7 (Int)
    17 x La-7 (Ftr)
    495 x Il-10 (CAS)
    201 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    14 x Il-10 (CAS)
    9 x Yak-4 (Tac)
    V ShAK flew 2 missions over Svalava on the 24th. When LtGenAv. Goryunov's Il-10s started bombing Uzhorod (battle of Drohobycz) at 9am on the 25th, they were intercepted by over 360 Hungarian CR.42 biplanes. Genlt. Rakosi's fighters were back in action, but so were LtGenAv. Rychagov's 372 Yak-7's less than an hour later. The final tally after three hours of dogfighting was of 34 biplanes, 12 Il-10's, 12 La-7's, and no Yak-7's shot down.

    At 2pm that same day, Genmaj. Orosz's 99 Ju-87's (out of 124) were intercepted over Sambor, before they even got to their destination, by IV IAK. Rychagov's fighters had a field day, shooting down 46 enemy dive-bombers in a little under 3 hours, forcing their remaining planes to return to base. No Yak-7's were shot down in the encounter.

    The Il-10's under direct command of MarshallAv. Novikov flew 2 missions over Svalava on the 27th.

    LtGenAv. Golovanov's I BAK supported first the battle of Drohobycz, then the ongoing battle of Uzhorod, by bombing Uzhorod 5 times (26th-27th & 31st)

    4th Ukrainian Front (4th Ukr. F. / Hungarian Border East of Dolina) 3 AG & 4 AG / Odessa HQ:
    "I had them right where I wanted them! What a shame. But we'll have them in the end, as soon as we deal with this annoying flank attack, we'll go right back in."
    A frustrated MajGen Erastov after he has to call off his offensive into Rachov (2 & 3) that was all but won because the Hungarians are attacking his flank.

    The defensive battle in the Mountains of Jablonow (1), having started on the 18th, turned resolutely in our favour on the 21st, as 141 SD reinforced MajGen Makeev's 25 SD. As Genlt. Balck's 5 PzD soon found out, they had brought a Regiment of SU-100's into the fight, a great tool to ambush Panzer IV's on narrow Mountain roads. efusing to withdraw, the German Unit was decimated over the following two days, withdrawing at 6pm on the 22nd, after they were attacked on their Northern flank. They left behind close to 1.300 bodies, many of them still trapped in the smouldering wrecks of tanks and lorries on narrow mountain roads. Our own forces lost fewer than 400 of their number, most of them in the early fazes of the battle.

    184 SD's 4am attack on Rachov (2) had been meant to force 5 PzD to pull out of Jablonow, but that wasn't enough for MajGen. Erastov. As the battered 5 PzD withdrew from Rachov shortly after 6pm, he ordered the Assault to continue despite heavy Counter-Attacks by Hungarian Infantry. This decision started to look a lot better as 141 SD moved to even the odds by attacking the enemy flank (3) at midnight. The Hungarians were starting to buckle under the pressure when 13 Gly arrived in the evening of the 24th to reinforce the defence. Even that proved too little too late, and what had started out as a spoiling attack against the odds turned into an offensive victory, albeit a costly one. Over 1.400 Soviet riflemen lost their life, for 550 of the enemy.

    Before the province could be occupied, however, another Hungarian Division snuck in to stop the Red Army's liberation of Rachov (2 & 3). Immediately, a new offensive was launched, headed up by the fresh 51 SD, but after 6 hours of mostly favourable nightly skirmishes, our forces had to withdraw to face a new enemy attack on Stanislawow (4). Genmaj. Ternegg's 3am attack was 4 Divisions strong, but MajGen. Larichev's three defending Divisions counted more men and many more Artillery pieces. A dangerous flanking attack by 55 SD into Volove (5) made matters even worse for the Hungarians, and at 6am they withdrew, followed 3 hours later by 55 SD. Both sides suffered minimal casualties in these skirmishes as most units involved were exhausted and/or distracted.

    Forces engaged in battle:Forces killed in actionPrisoners of War
    Germany8.7411.2990
    Hungary126.0216730
    AXIS134.7621.9720
    Soviet Union109.1901.9230
    42-08-31_UKR4-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    AXIS781 KIA0000
    Soviet Union0 KIA17124 x La-7 (Ftr)5 x La-7 (Ftr)248 x Il-10 (CAS)6 x Il-10 (CAS)

    LtGenAv. Kutakhov made the Hungarian's lives even more miserable in Rachov, his III ShAK flying 8 missions over the provice. (28th-31st).

    Black Sea Fleet (Black Sea, Aegean Sea & Mediterranean Sea) BSF / Odessa HQ:
    "What do you mean 'they lost their bow but they're okay'?" ... "So now I've got half a Destroyer floating around out there. Well get it back to base, and arrange a fighter escort. We must save that ship, and if we can't, we must not loose that crew."
    - RADM Golovko when a member of his staff attempts to explain what happened to that one Destroyer that ate a 450mm torpedo and lost it's bow.

    While the main Black Sea Fleet has been deputised to the Baltic Fleet, RADM Golovko's I. Avianosets Flote patrols the Aegean Sea, while RADM Eliseev's IV FP continues it's convoy-hunting efforts in the Central Mediterranean, just to the East of the Straits of Messina & Malta. The Aegean patrol serves the clear purpose of securing the approaches to our Mediterranean base in Mythinléné and withholding supplies from Italian bases in the Area.

    The second mission has proved a bit more controversial amongst those in the know, at least in private. Several people have expressed doubts about the usefulness of the submarines' mission to our own war aims. By disrupting trade to Libya, we are, in effect, helping the United Kingdom to take it. As opposed to the USA, they have offered no help to the Soviet Union's war effort, they haven't even allowed us to purchase production licenses while the Soviet Union is fighting their enemies. There is an option on the table for IV FP to change it's area of operations to the Adriatic Sea.
    42-08-31_MED-min.jpg
    Air to ground damageKIA air crewFighters deployedFighters lostBombers deployedBombers lost
    Italy031800224 x SM.7953 x SM.79
    AXIS0 KIA0000
    Soviet Union10,3% of 2 FE (0.5 ships)
    136 Sailors KIA
    17128 x La-7VM (CAS)1 x La-7VM (CAS)248 x Il-10 (CAS)6 x Il-10 (CAS)
    While on patrol in the Western Aegean Sea, I Avianosets Flote was surprised by a large formation of low-flying Italian Naval Bombers. The Combat Air Patrol, consisting of 8 La-7VM's, immediately engaged the threat and on board both Kyiv-Class Carriers, La-7VM fighters were sent up as quickly as humanly possible to engage the 224 SM.79 torpedo bombers of SA I (Squadra Aerea) under Gen.S.A. (LtGenAv.) di Ferro. Luckily, the good weather of the Mediterranean allows for the deck parking of 16 fighters (2 squadrons) on each Carrier, and thus an additional 32 fighters were quickly dispatched in the direction of the approaching threat. Significantly, the construction and mechanism of the 2 aft elevators was inspired by British CVL elevator designs, and not by Béarn's elevators. This means that they take less than a minute to cycle, as opposed to 3, and 5 minutes on Béarn. It still took a further 15 minutes to get the remaining 56 fighters in the air. Il-10VM's were launched afterwards to add to the confusion, and 50 minutes in the number of Red Navy aeroplanes was doubled as reserves arrived from Mythiléné.

    This slight delay and the sheer number of enemy planes was enough for the first squadron of SM.79's to drop their torpedo's without distraction, aiming squarely at the Destroyers of 2. Flotiliya Esmintsev. The lead ship, a Sevastopol-Class Destroyer, was hit by two 450mm (17,7") torpedoes. The one that hit the stern was a dud, but the other, which hit the bow didn't. The entire bow of the vessel was severed and quickly sank, while a positively heroic effort by the remaining crew members kept the rest just barely afloat. This was the only recorded hit. Meanwhile, the dogfight was won decisively under the leadership of RADMAv. Vershinin, who's own squadron chased the Italian bombers all the way to the Ionian sea before returning to the Fleet.

    Totals losses:
    Last 10 daysEngaged in BattleKilled in battleKilled by bombsAir Crew KIAKIA at seaTotal KIAPrisoners of War
    Slovakia8.907120/9902190
    Bulgaria58.4472.560/002.5600
    Hungary334.3662.050/12602.1760
    Italy38.9482.703/31803.0210
    Germany582.11320.195/4571.31921.9710
    AXIS1.022.78127.62814.6011.0001.31944.5480
    Soviet Union1.132.21326.54713232713627.1420
    42-08-31_GPW_Front_Overview-min.jpg
    GPW (70 days)Engaged in BattleKilled in battleKilled by bombsAir Crew KIAKIA at seaTotal KIAPrisoners of War
    Slovakia43.8392.912/20903.1210
    Bulgaria127.9795.941/333106.2840
    Hungary1.573.45218.399/886019.2850
    Italy72.6803.345/5731.0034.9210
    Germany4.596.499151.401/5.0826.435162.91818.294
    AXIS6.414.449181.99897.2756.7817.748293.80218.294
    Soviet Union8.470.753155.5861.9044.7641.267163.52157.778


    Aeroplane losses:
    GPW (70 days)FightersSmall BombersMedium BombersLarge BombersTransports
    Slovakia/69 x A.304///
    Bulgaria33 x He-51B////
    Hungary194 x CR.32/CR.42249 x Ju-87B-2270 x Ju-86K-2//
    Italy//53 x SM.79-III
    41 x CZ.1007bis
    /11 x SM.75bis
    Germany788 x FW-190A-3
    555 x Me-109G-5
    81 x Hs-129B-2983 x Ju-88A-445 x Ju-2908 x Me-232D-1
    AXIS782 x Int, 788 x Ftr399 x CAS1.294 x Tac, 53 x Nav45 x Nav19 x Tra
    Soviet Union756 x Yak-7
    847 x La-7
    238 x La-7VM

    828 x Il-10
    238 x Il-10VM
    408 x Yak-447 x TB-347 x Li-2

    The past ten days, there have been two major offensives with rather different results:
    The 2nd Baltic Front, reinforced with large parts of 2ya Tankovaya Armiya, saw a massive armoured thrust towards Memel and the Baltic Sea, all under the leadership of ColGen. Zhukov of 2ya Tankovaya Armiya. ColGen Bagramian of 6ya Armiya following up with the foot soldiers to strengthen the newly liberated positions. The army is hopeful that the current momentum can be maintained all the way to the Baltic coast, resulting in the formation of a pocket that would contain an estimated 10-15 Divisions, amongst which the elite 16 PzGrD, 1 sPzD, and a Fallschirmjäger Division. It goes without saying that removing such a number of enemy fighting units from the equation at this point would be a great boost to Morale, and to our capacity to take the initiative.
    Along the 1st Ukrainian Front, the beginnings of a Major German offensive have been contained by ColGen Vassilevskij's 7ya Armiya. Once the enemy spearheads were pinned down, the stubborn Germans turned it into a big meat-grinder. As a result, many units in the area are in a state of partial or full disorganised chaos. If the casualty numbers are any indication, Axis forces have suffered just as much on the ground, in addition to the relentless pounding they took from the VVS. STAVKA expects this to be reflected in a similarly bad, or even worse, level of organisation amongst the enemy units facing the 1st UF. The only caveat to that assertion is that the Axis seems to have more units in the area, so the 1st Ukrainian Front could be in for another series of nasty meat-grinder next week.
    Along the Hungarian border, fighting was fierce as ever, but no headway was made by either side. Tough battles are ongoing, and there is a real possibility that 4ya Armiya will be able to slowly roll up the Hungarian Lines from the East, shortening the 4th Ukrainian Front in the process. Of course, the difficulties of the 3rd & 4th Ukrainian Fronts are due, to a large extent, to the mountainous terrain on the border. Once they get past the mountains, the going could suddenly become a whole lot easier.
    As mentioned above, Operation Tundra Wolf is still going as planned, fingers crossed that we can take Kristiansand relatively quickly.
    The prickly question of where to hunt for subs in the Med remains just as prickly as RADM Eliseev, who still hasn't fully accepted his transfer from the main Soviet Carrier Fleet to a small Flotilla of obsolescent submarines.

    As always, your input is valued,

    Greetings,

    'Odin'

    OOC: I've given all the sectors OTL Front names, and for those where there was no Front OTL, I've followed the same nomenclature. (Danish Front & Norwegian Front). As the Axis hasn't managed to break through into Russia proper, fronts named after Russian cities remain off the table. Once we push into Axis territory, I will be renaming the fronts, and merging/splitting them as I go. I won't follow the historical example of having so-called 'Ukrainian' Fronts fighting in Austria, and having 2 Byelorussian fronts and a Ukrainian front fighting in the Berlin area...
    Coming up: Some bonus artwork to accompany this GPW report.
     
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    6th of September 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #207
  • roverS3

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    The 6th of September 1942, Vologda, 1,1°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

    Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 28th of August and the 6th of September 1942,

    by 'Odin'

    Army:
    3, 37, and 52 Diviziya Opolcheniya (Garx3) have been deployed to Rezekne, Izborsk, and Pskov in the Baltic SSR's. They are now waiting for the delivery of their support Brigades (Art, AT). They will later be retrained into regular rifle units, and eventually plug the gaps left by the loss of 3, 37, and 52 SD.
    2 new Garrison Divisions (Garx3) have been delivered in Leningrad. 18. and 19. Garnizon Diviziya will likely be used to guard larger Naval Bases in Scandinavia.
    Upon delivery of a Motx2, TD unit, it was placed directly under a new Corps HQ, XXXV MSK, placed under 11ya Motorizovannaya Armiya, Arm AG, STAVKA. The TD Regiment (43 SAUP) will be swapped for the SP Art Regiment of 135 MSD (102 SAP) to give the latter more punch against armoured vehicles.
    44. SAUP, a new regiment of SU-100 Tank Destroyers, was delivered to XXXV MSK. It is slated to reinforce 129 MSD, as soon as that Division is not in combat.
    Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
    Front line troops: 713 / 2.139.000
    Support troops: 371 / 371.000
    Total fighting troops: 1.084 / 2.510.000
    Headquarters: 65 / 65.000
    Total Army Personnel: 1.149 / 2.575.000
    Officers: 107.241 + / 113.050 needed / 193 KIA / 94,862 % -
    Active Leaders: 289 / 2 POW / 207 more available
    With a growing need for Garrisons, the go-ahead was given for the training of a new Garrison Brigade (Garx2). It will be deployed, either to one of the smaller Black Sea Ports, or possibly to Norway, if all goes well with Op. Tundra Wolf.
    A new Motorised Rifle formation has started training. 145. MSD (Motx2, AC, Eng) will be swapping the Armoured Cars with one of the HQ brigades, for SU-100's and an existing Motor Rifle Regiment.
    An assessment of the wartime usefulness of brigades attached directly to Corps level HQ's has shown that they don't often see combat. Maybe our Lt. Generals prefer not to place their HQ in harm's way? In the case of Motorised Corps HQ Brigades ( currently Motx2, SP-Art / Motx2, TD). The 'retired' Generals have proposed reducing the size of these HQ-attached brigades to one Motorised Rifle Regiment, and one Armoured Car Regiment. This will free up one Motorised Regiment and a Regiment of either Tank Destroyers or SP Artillery. As there is a war going on, this will be a gradual process, each of the next 4 new regular Motorised Division will be trained as "Motx2, AC, Eng" instead of "Motx3, Eng, TD/SP Art", and will then be brought up to strength with elements of the HQ-attached brigades. This will save time and cost, allowing us to deploy them sooner and to spend more in other areas.
    Army Leadership:
    After some consideration, the commander for the new XXXV MSK, 11ya Mot. Armiya, Arm. AG, STAVKA was selected. Newly promoted LtGen. Petrov M.P. (SK3, LW, BM) has proven himself, leading 74 SD, his former unit, through many battles since the war started off. Always looking for ways to learn and improve, he has become highly capable and is respected amongst his peers. What makes this even sweeter is that he only just avoided being relegated to second line duty before the war. He was SK1, but with 2 good traits, and thus should have been replaced as soon as a suitable SK2 commander with a good trait was available. However, in the 1941 review I somehow missed him, and thus left him in place despite the availability of suitable SK2 commanders. As he was involved in heavy combat on the Hungarian border from the start of the conflict, he had gained too much experience to be replaced by the time I noticed. Now that he's SK3 (not maxed out), with 2 valuable traits, he's the best we've got for a step up to Lt.General, outside of the elite Guards units. Who knows how far the man will rise through the ranks if he keeps improving?
    Of course this transfer left a gap. Former Sr. Major of State Security Skvortsov (SK2, LW, BM) was transferred from the 1. NKGBKB, back to the Red Army, where he was promoted to MajGen. and put in charge of 74 SD. Having been at the forefront of counter-insurgency operations in Finland for both major insurgencies (the one in late 1940, and the current one.), he picked up a few tricks which could come in handy, especially in forested terrain and/or cold weather.
    A newly commissioned General officer, SMajSec. Pavlov A.V. was sent to Finland to replace Skvortsov (SK1, LW, BM). As is always the case with these appointments, the man has potentially valuable skills and interests, but his overall test scores were too low for him to get a command in the regular forces. Maybe he will be able to emulate his predecessor, if the Fins rise up again.
    To command the three new Opolcheniye Divisions (Garx3), three unremarkable Major Generals were called back from retirement. MajGens Apanasenko, Juravlev, and Stepanov (all SK2, no traits) were put in charge of 3 DOp, 37 DOp, and 52 DOp respectively. There's no point in wasting exceptional or particularly promising Generals on second line units when there are still many more powerful units in the pipeline. Of course, when the Opolcheniye Divisions get retrained and reshaped into regular Rifle Divisions, their commanders may well be replaced.
    For the 2 new Garrison Divisions, two more Generals were called back. This pair was selected for being sub-par commanders (the reason why they were retired in the first place), with a special knack for defensive operations as their one redeeming quality. (SK1, DD) Perfect for second-line, purely defensive formations. MajGens Karmanov, and Zverev were placed in command of 18 GarD, and 19 GarD respectively.

    Air Force:
    No change in VVS numbers, nor Navy Air Fleet numbers for the last 10 days.​
    No changes to Navy Air Fleet leadership.​
    VVS Leadership:
    Newly Commissioned MajGenAv. Reshetnikov has been put in charge of 2 DBAD after I. DBAK (Strx2) was broken up as 2 DBAD suffered heavy casualties and it's remaining TB-3's were needed in Norway. MajGenAv. Kalinin (formerly in command of I. DBAK) retains command of 1 DBAD. As Heavy Bomber support is now needed in several places at once, this arrangement has been made permanent, with the long term aim of eventually transforming both formations into Heavy Bombardment Corps by doubling, or even tripling, their number. But that process will only start in November as the production lines for large planes are currently churning out La-2's for the yet to be deployed 4. TrAD. Other considerations make it unlikely we will convert more factories for the production of large aeroplanes anytime soon.
    Navy:
    No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.​

    Politics / International:
    Battle of Britain:​
    The RAF's air war calmed down a lot. 2 air battles over Dover, and a single battle over Korbach (SW of Kassel). This is likely connected to a flare-up in Luftwaffe activity over our own forces.
    Battle of the Atlantic:​
    Things calmed down dramatically, with 3 Axis convoys sunk to the North-West of Scotland and no allied convoys lost. Maybe our Norway operations have distracted the Kriegsmarine from their convoy raiding?
    Yugoslavia​
    YSF42-09-06-min.jpeg
    Tito's indigenous Yugoslav partisans were rooted out as Germany took control of Dubrovnik, Ljubinje, and Cevo. As these areas were under Italian control before the uprising, I can't imagine the Italians are too pleased with that, nor are the cartographers who now have to deal with an even longer, more wavy border. A bit further to the north, US-sponsored partisans have risen up in Zvornik, SW of the confluence of the Drina and Sava rivers. This means that whatever units the Germans deployed to the area will have to stay there to deal with them as well, which is good news for us.
    Athens - Greece:​
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 4,9 / 87,1 +​
    Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 5,9 / 79,2 =​
    GRF42-07-18-min.jpeg
    The Italians seem to have given up trying to take back the Greek Capital. Of course, STAVKA keeps hoping they will get it together and evict the Britons, both so the Italians pull some troops from their Eastern front, and so the Red Army has the possibility to liberate it later.
    North Africa Front:​
    BNAF42-08-27-min.jpeg
    Here too things have stalled.
    7 Italian merchant vessels were sunk, by the Royal Navy. No Allied convoys were hit by the Italians.
    A few bombing missions by No.16 RN 'Coastal Naval Command' over Reggio di Calabria finished off the last ship of 11. Squadrone Transporti, but after that there was no action in the air around the Med.
    South East Asia:​
    United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,1​
    United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 4,9 / 87,1 + (Loss of Kota Bharu)​
    Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,1​
    Netherlands, France (Government in Exile)​
    Indonesian Front:​
    SEAF42-09-6_1-min.jpeg
    The slow single-Division trek to take over Java continues, with the IJA asserting control over the Mountainous province of Bandung. The small town at the core of the province has one of the highest concentrations of Art Deco Architecture in the world. All built by the Dutch during the inter-war years.
    Here too, the convoy war calmed down a lot, with 9 Axis and 4 Allied freighters sunk. All of the Allied losses were around the Eastern end of Java. The new ultra-modern Suffren-Class Destroyers, based in Haiphong, have gone out to investigate on their own. We'll have to see if that works out well for them. This gives them the dubious honour of being the only French Navy vessels actually doing something.
    Malay Front:​
    SEAF42-09-6_2-min.jpeg
    More Japanese units seem to have arrived on the Malay peninsula, with the IJA continuing to move in a North-Easterly direction, unopposed, save for the officers of Far East Theatre Command, which fired a few shots as they were ousted from Kota Bahru. The latter Naval base, on the Eastern side of the Peninsula, allows for a shorter naval connection for the Japanese to bring in supplies, and maybe even more forces. It's only a matter of time before the Japanese turn South towards Singapore. An attempt by the Singapore Garrison to take back Teluk Anson ended in failure as the Japanese regulars made short work of the lightly armed conscripts, forcing them to flee back towards Singapore. Luckily for the UK, Siam grants the British Military access, but not the Japanese. Of course, the Indian Army doesn't have the forces to do anything with that, but at least it's better than the reverse.
    In the Straits of Malacca, another small British Fleet seems to have been caught by Japanese Carrier planes with both HMS Curacoa (C-class), and HMS Dehli (Danae-class) being sent to the bottom by torpedo bombers from Kaga and Akagi, respectively.
    CuracoaSP1940-min.jpg
    Commissioned in February 1918, HMS Curacoa was initially a 4.200 ton C-Class Light Cruiser of the Ceres sub-Class. It's original main armament consisted of 5 BL 6" (152mm) Mk. XII Naval guns on single mountings, 2 QF 3" (76,2mm) Mk. I AA Guns and 4 twin 21" torpedo launchers. In this shape, she was the flagship of the 5th Light Cruiser Squadron, part of Harwich Force, for the final 9 months of the war. She was refitted in late 1939, into an AA Cruiser. Her 6" Naval guns were removed to make place for 4 twin QF 4" Mk.XVI dual purpose guns. The 3" weapons were swapped for 6 QF 2-pounders (40mm), two singles, and one quadruple mount. 2 quadruple Vickers .50" AA MG's were also added, and the torpedo tubes were removed. Additionally, a modern High-Angle fire control System (Mk.III) and a Type 279 radar were fitted. After refit, she weighed in at over 5.400 tons. Propulsion is provided through 2 shafts, powered by 6 boilers and Parsons geared steam turbines, providing 40.000 shp. Armour is scarce, 3" on the sides of the machinery spaces, 2,25" around the magazines and 1"deck plating amidships over the most vital areas. Her original top speed of 29, already slow by today's standards, was cut down to about 25 knots by the alterations, which left the power-plant untouched. OTL she sank due to a collision with the Ocean Liner RMS Queen Mary, while the latter was sailing in zig-zag at top speed (28.5 knots) to evade a submarine attack, HMS Curacoa continued sailing straight ahead and ended up sliced in two. ATL, she sunk due to a collision with a pair of Japanese Air-launched torpedoes.
    Pacific Front:​
    9 Axis merchant vessels and 4 Allied ones were sunk in the Pacific. 1 Axis Merchant ship was caught off the coast of Hispaniola. Another record low.
    Industry:
    A group of high ranking Apparatchiks have proposed a comprehensive plan to relocate factories Eastward. The idea in itself wasn't necessarily a bad one. However, their proposal was clearly overly defeatist, as the westernmost factories to be moved following their proposal were over 250km from the front, and there was no suggestion to evacuate industry from Kaunas or Lwow, for example. When this was pointed out to them, they muttered something about railway gauges and the plans being made up before the recent Westward expansion. Needless to say, the proposal was rejected as the factories in question are clearly not in imminent danger and the cost and production time loss from moving any number of them would slow down vital production. (By declining to move Industry to Siberia you get +200 manpower, not that the Soviet Union is running out of able-bodied men anytime soon.)
    35 + / 428 + / 566 + Factories in Bergen (1 IC) have started producing supplies (mostly canned fish, and fish oil products, including Glycerine) for the Red Army forces in Norway.
    Lend-Lease aid was increased a little to 138 IC/day, that was also the average over the last 10 days. Aid was delivered every day with no interruptions for a total of 1.378 ICdays.
    The recent scuffle with the Regia Aeronautica shows that the Red Navy could really use a forward Air Base in the Aegean. Construction of a basic Airfield (Level 1 Air Base) has started on Mythiléné.
    IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )​
    Upgrades: 95,8 / 122,27 +
    Reinforcement: 37,9 / 37,91 + The need for reinforcements varies wildly but remains over 20 IC.
    Supplies: 70,00 / 58,32 = The supply stockpile has remained stable and there were no major supply issues, so the production and purchase of supplies has remained constant.
    Production: 328,35 / 334.64 - With 350 units still waiting for the latest equipment and no increase in Lend-Lease aid to match, production spending was cut down. The construction of our Rocket Test Site also had to be slowed down a little to avoid impacting more pressing wartime production.
    Consumer Goods: 33,96 / 33,96 +
    Stockpiles:​
    Energy: Maximum tonnes +​
    Metal: 98.031 tonnes -​
    Rares: 49.074 tonnes +​
    Crude: 93.128 cubic metres +​
    Supplies: 33.758 tonnes +​
    Fuel: 99.951 barrels +​
    Money: 1.372 +​

    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 / 1 }​
    { UK (/) : 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​
    Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
    Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 1
    Reserves: 7​
    Spy training leadership expenditure: 1,03 + (a new spy every 7 days)
    A spy from Germany was caught in the Soviet Union.​
    A temporary increase in espionage expenditure has been allowed as plans are being made for a new operation in Sweden, to increase the population's Support for Communism, and make an alliance more palatable to it's politicians. Where our diplomats have failed, maybe our spies will succeed? Or possibly a combination of both.

    Research:
    A new Armoured Car Gun (Level 5) is ready for mass production, as part of a new Armoured Car Design.
    Our car-based Armoured Cars have been a major focus of development in recent years: The BA-20 was soon followed by the BA-30 (Half-track prototype, too maintenance-heavy), and eventually the excellent BA-64 currently in service. The same can be said of our specialist amphibious armoured cars, with the BDRM-1 & BDRM-2. (These are actually 1950s and 1960s vehicles, but Paradox put the BDRM-2 in the game as a 1940 Armoured Car and I mentioned it before, so let's just roll with it.) These latter vehicles proved impractical to build in large numbers, only a couple 100 were produced, they are mostly deployed to Engineer Regiments.
    But as useful as these have proven to be, the heavy armoured cars had fallen by the wayside. So naturally, even before the war, there was a call for a modern armoured car with a big gun instead of the omnipresent 7.62 Machine-Guns, with the production of a prototype starting in May. This assessment was only confirmed by the recent fighting on the front.

    The 1937 BA-6 heavy Armoured cars, based on a three-axle Ford lorry chassis (similar to that of the GAZ-AAA), with a T-26 turret on top, have proven surprisingly useful in recent months. However, they are getting a bit long in the tooth, and there aren't enough of them to go around.
    Initially, the designers at the Izhora Plant (Leningrad area) went with what they knew, evolving the BA-6 concept. They started with a revised GAZ-AAA chassis as a base, upgrading the suspension, and fitting a modernised K-20 45mm gun into the T-26 turret. The first prototype, the BA-10, was rushed out by late June. It proved disappointing in testing. It would have been fine as a direct follow-up to the BA-6 in 1938, or maybe even before the war started. But, as the review board included Armoured Cavalry and Guards Rifle officers with experience in the field, it was sent back to the drawing board. It needed a new turret design with sloped armour instead of the steep, almost cylindrical, design of the T-26 original. The 4-cylinder engine was a bit sluggish and barely an improvement on that in the BA-6. They wouldn't be able to keep up with the Armoured Cavalry columns in their shiny Half-tracks.

    So, back to the drawing board they went. Meanwhile, at the Moscow Automobile Plant No.1 (ZiS cars and lorries), engineers have been tinkering with the ZiS-5 (4x2) and ZiS-6 (6x4) chassis and accompanying drive-train for years, all in an attempt to fit the capable platform to an ever more varied number of roles. The ZiS-6K, a shortened three-axle variant, fitted with a powerful low-mounted 6-cylinder engine, was selected as a basis for the new vehicle, and with a few tweaks, the ZiS-34 chassis was born. Integrating lessons learned from the BA-10 prototype, the Izhora Plant engineers designed an armoured body and a new turret fit to the platform. The BA-11 is now ready for mass production. At over 8 tonnes fully loaded it is quite a beast, sporting up to 10mm of sloped armour, a modern turret with a 1938 45mm 20K gun (114 shells), and 2 7.62 DT LMG's (one co-axial, and one in front of the commander, with over 3,000 rounds) for good measure. It carries it's bulk rather well thanks to sturdy leaf spring suspension, and that powerful ZiS inline-6, tuned up slightly to produce 93hp. A top speed of 64 km/h can be reached on paved surfaces, the vehicle can also ford 60 cm of water, and climb slopes up to 22°(depending on the surface). To navigate tricky terrain, tracks can be fitted around the driven wheels, linking them up and creating a makeshift half-track.
    BA-10_BA-11-min.jpg
    LEFT: Testing of the wheel-mounted tracks on the BA-10 prototype, somewhere in Karelia. RIGHT: Side profile of the BA-11 prototype. Note the shallower slope angle of the turret on the BA-11.​
    OTL The BA-10 was produced in the thousands starting in 1938, and it's successor, the BA-11 didn't make it into mass production as the production of light and medium tanks took priority to replace the losses incurred in the early days of the GPW. ATL, I expect the BA-11 to make it into service in large numbers because the war started a year later, and thus the kinks with the design would have been ironed out. We also didn't loose anything close to the number of tanks the OTL Red Army lost in the early months of the war. This means there is space for the production of these beauties. If the focus in the late 30's was on lighter Armoured Cars, and revolutionary river-crossing amphibious vehicles, the BA-10 would likely have remained a design on paper until 1940, when here was a re-surging interest for the creation of heavy armoured cars. It should aso be noted that the armour on the ATL BA-11 is slightly thinner than on the historical one as Ive been purposefully skipping AC Armour upgrades to make them faster.
    As a follow-up, our Artillery researchers have been given the green light to team up with rocket scientists (some of whom were pulled off the construction of the Rocket Test Site) in order to create a workable Rocket Artillery design. It is expected that a motorised variant would be able to keep up with our Armoured Cavalry, as opposed to the regular SP-Art, which would only slow them down.
    Our Naval designers have delivered a new 66.000 hp turbine for our Carriers. With the new Engines, and a redesigned hull with more fuel tanks, the next Carrier classes will be slightly quicker, and have a longer operating range.
    They have now started work on the development of specialised Landing Craft for the Naval Infantry, and faster military transport ships that can keep up with the Battleships, to carry them to their destination.

    Leadership distribution:
    Research: 20,67 (+0,07)
    Espionage: 1,03 (+0,82)
    Diplomacy: 0,21 (-0,81)
    Officers: 12,00 = (72 Officers/day)
    Total: 33,92 (+0,1) A few Norwegian scientists and diplomats based in Bergen have agreed to work for us.

    Statistics:
    National Unity: 83,229 =​
    Neutrality: 0,00 =​
    Dissent: 0,00 =​
    Manpower:​
    Available: 2.228.000 2.059.000 (+169.000) Not having to move factories means more men are available for military service.
    Men To reinforce(need): 12.300​
    Men To mobilise(need): See above​
    Monthly gain: 70.900 Men + (1 fully mobilised Infx3, Art, AT Division every 5,35 days)​
    Party Popularity:​
    - Communist Party: 61 =​
    - Trotskyite: 6(-5)
    - Bukharinite: 0 (-5)
    - Social-Revolutionary: 4 =​
    - Trudoviks: 6 (+3)
    - Kadets: 6 (+2)
    - Octobrists: 3 (+3)
    - Tsarists: 8 (+1)
    - NTS: 1 =​
    - POA: 5 =​
    There has been a slight resurgence of Capitalist tendencies amongst the population, possibly due to the influence of US spies which have trickled in alongside the legitimate diplomats and military liaison officers. As support for these capitalist ideas is coming from an all time low, it's nothing to worry about, yet, as none of the Capitalist factions are close to the 10% popularity that would allow them to really cause trouble. While support for the Communist Party's Stalinist doctrine remains overwhelming, especially within it, sympathies for alternative (wrong) versions of Socialism have hit a new low. Trotskyism has been reduced to a small fringe of the Communist party, while no one is even thinking about Bukharin's ideas anymore. On the right, there has been little movement, with a slight increase in support for a return to Tsarist rule. German spies were unable to enact a rise in fortunes for the National-Socialist POA movement, as they got caught by the NKVD's counterespionage efforts.
    No changes in Party Organisation​

    This Information is accurate on the morning of the 6th of September 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

    'Odin'
     
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