Start of 12-July-1942 turn

In the previous turns the Axis had been attacking in Army group south area, took Voronezh and was stockpiling troops and panzers in Bryansk, Orel Tula area.

Meanwhile Soviets were defending the south, setting up an offensive in Rzhev area and at the same time retreating in Bryansk salient and Orel-Tula area

Army group center, satellite view

North and South of Smolensk – Moscow road. Yes, there is a huge Axis encirclement around Rzhev area.


Rzhev area:

This the operation Soviets did to encircle Rzhev and the Axis armies around it. Bigger than historical Stalingrad in novembre 1942!.

It was an initial success but we did big mistakes and at the end of the day, 3 turns later, turned in a virtual draw. More on this in the next image.



Rzhev detail:

Observe Rzhev is surrounded by 3 Soviet rings. One full circle around the City, another almost complete, and a third 40 km, and going east, complete circle.

Fisrt Soviet mistake:

I advice you to never take a double turn as Soviet player before winter 1942, unless you are a very lucky player. We did it, and of course the Axis players did the same on us just after the encirclement. 

Second Soviet mistake:

Never do such big encirclement of German troops before winter 1942. This second advice it's almost a corollary of the fisrt advice, because without a double turn you cannot do the big encirclement, only small ones. 

In our case it would been better to do 2 'small' encirclement, one around Rzhev, the other opposite of Rzhev, to the east.

Third Soviet mistake:

 If you want to do such Axis cauldrons, have many more mobile reserves in your flanks, and supply than us.


 All in all it did not went too bad. Why?  Let's see next images.




East of Bryansk, (ex)Zhizda salient::

The axis had been setting up an offensive to encircle Soviets troops east of Bryansk, north of Orel. But we did retreat first.

Then we launched the Rzehv operation. This move allowed Soviets to commit infantry and tank corps to the north, helping to stop Axis counter attack towards Moscow, once they liberated Rzhev.

 As you will see many panzers and mortorized divisions concentrating around Orel, went north to Rzhev and Moscow road after the Soviet Rzhev operation.


Voronezh aftermath: Axis finally took Voronezh.


Don, east of Rostov:

 In previous turns Soviets stopped and repulsed the Axis bridgehead from southeast of Rostov, south of the Don , in the area where now is SS-Wiking. 

But in a surprise move Italian, Germans and cossacks took a bridgehead just south of Rostov. See the DG hex there.


West Stalingrad area: Meanwhile Axis troops are in full stop in Stalingrad approaches because of operations elsewhere.

 Note, Axis did not assaulted Sevastopol in June and is still heavily defended by Soviet troops, so it could have been faster the advance to Stalingrad.

 Axis taking Voronezh fisrt, and then Soviets surrounding Rzhev were two main Axis reasons to halt advance to Stalingrad. And one major reason for Soviets to do the Rzhev operation was to stop Axis south advance.



Stay tuned, soon more AAR's.