Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Kiev to Rostov via Vassal - GT53

This may well be the turning point.

GT53 turned out bright and dry, except for lingering mud in the forests. Both sides had to make further withdrawals.  With all my careful planning I found I had stuffed up both.  The Soviets had the use of a unit for one or two turns longer than they should (it was busy defending Belgorod).  The Axis should have exited an additional three units to the Crimea (these have to be "walked" off unlike the other withdrawals that are just removed, the bad thing being is that the units, minor in the scheme of things, are not positioned to make a quick exit).

The end of the Axis phase saw them smash the defenses to the north of Belgorod and also create a small gap in the Soviet line to the south of Kharkov.  But that is not the big problem. 

With the return to dry weather and critical Axis armoured formations avoiding fuel shortages, the Melitopol pocket has been closed.

The Soviets could not afford to send any reinforcements to Kharkov.

The Axis have left the Italians to besiege Dnepropetrovsk.

The Soviets are desperately trying to breakout of the Melitopol pocket.  They have abandoned their defensive lines and troops have been sent to try and break the thin Axis line near the coast.

The big picture.  Kharkov is at the centre top.  Dnepropetrovsk is on the left, centre.  Note the Axis forces now heading east.  Melitopol is to the south.  One aspect of this game, unlike other Eastern Front games, is that the front actually shrinks as you go east.  The south is bordered by the Sea of Azov and the north is part of Army Group Centre's operations.  Rostov can be seen in the lower right hand corner.

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