Drama in the Steppes [CB-78-A]
Game : Case Blue
Solo game of 2016 with Vassal.
Novocherkassk and Voroshilovsgrad taken.
Two rails toward West from Likhosvkoy cut.
Donest crossed beyond Voroshilovsgrad.
Start of the retreat of the center. A small counter-attack in front of Rostov.
The 14th Panzer-Division crushes the 14th Tank Corps, opening the road for the D’aosta Division who took Milerovo by surprise.
Rossoh is taken by the 29th Mot, the 3rd Panzer-Division surprises the 28th Army HQ, the unguarded Kantemirovak airbase and the 38th Army HQ in strategic mode!
The trap is closed, encircling all troops between the Don and Rossoh: 9th, 28th, 37th, and 38th Armies, with 14th, 22nd, and 23rd Tank corps!
Violent fight in west-Rostov, without success, while the Westland regiment of the Wiking SS-Division cross the Don behind Rostov and take control of the main road to the South.
Fantastic cavalry charge of the 17th Cavalry Division who surprised an destroyed the SS unit that just crossed the Don behind Rostov. Unable to stop on the bridge, they crossed the city and charged the Ostrovski Cossack that was ready for the counter-charge that dispersed the Soviet cavalrymen on both sides of the Don...
In the center steppes, the 9th Army collapse while the 37th escapes with a few tank brigades and remnants of the 5th Cavalry Corps, leaving terrible losses: 23 Infanterie-Division, 1 Guard Div, the 23rd Tank Corps, 2 Tank brigades, 3 artillery brigades and many other independent units of army and NKVD,
Calm down... only 6 SP. The 4th Panzergruppe appears on the field of operations but due to lack of fuel, only the 24th Panzer-Division moves by train to relieve the 23rd facing Likhovskoy.
The 16th Panzer-Division continues his move forward taking Tatsinskaya by the south with any losses, cutting the remnants of soviet armies retreating, followed by the 22nd.
Four Rifle Divisions and 6 Tank Brigades more are lost while 24th and 37th Armies are routed, abandoning Likhovskoy to attempt a counter-attack with the 13th Tank Corps on Tatsinskaya. But, while one of the brigades is stopped by the bombs of the He 111, the two others fall in an ambush prepared by the gunners of 16th Panzer-Division as their armored comrades were taking the town...
Morozovsk is fortifying while the 63rd Army’s HQ, cavalry and NKVD borders troops are entering the village to reinforce the 153rd Infantry Division.
The D’Aosta Div pushes outside Milerovo on the road to Serafimovich, destroying the guard on the Kalitva river. The 16th Panzer-Division stays around Tatsinskaya, as the 22nd crosses the Don at Tsimlyanskaya and the 13th Panzer-Division finally takes Likhovskoy.
The offensive is stopped by lack of fuel. Only the 14th Panzer-Division and the Italian D’aosta Division are pushing to Serafimovitch and take Perelazoviskyi and Surovikino by surprise!
Even too far from the 35th Italian army; a lot of food has to be thrown to the front unit to keep them supplied...
Morozovsk is now cut from the rear area and the fortifications around Stalingrad are far from finished.
Failed counter-attacks on Surovikino and from Serafimovitch. The morale is low on the Soviet side...
Still not enough fuel. The rest of the 14th Panzer-Division comes to rescue the forwarded tanks and the motorized Infantry in Surovikino, surrounded by a lot of Russian tanks.
The Italians are reinforcing in front of Serafimovitch.
A second counter-attack from the area of Stalingrad: the 28th Tank Corps launch an attack on the artillery of the 14th Panzer with some success. The gap is then filled by the 141st Infanterie-Division.
The more important success is the arrival of the 24th Tank Corps, who retake Surovikino and the airbase: the anti-tank and planes are routed by the arrival of the new tanks who continue their advance to fall on two German Infanterie-Division in strategic move... The 14th is once more isolated in Surovikino and more and more Russians are coming.
A precious but light link has been reestablished with the defenders of Morozovsk.
Double-move and limited flight!
The 24th and 28th Tank Corps continue their move beyond the Kurniak river and crushes the 35th Italian Armeekorps HQ and repulse the German 3rd Armeekorps (motorisiert) in disorder. The Italians are beheaded.
More, in the rear, on the road from Millerovo, the 22nd Tank corps and the 5th Cavalry Division crush some Italian infantry and dispersed the parc of wagons in charge of the supply of the forward troops. The elite Italian ski troops can stop the Russian horsemen and protect the wagons. But the Soviet tanks are still there, cutting the road...
Rescue operation to save the 3rd Armeekorps (motorisiert). Despite the air bridge, most of the Italians are out of supply. The wagon route is reestablished with the German troops and the 24th Panzer-Division came to punish with severity the Russian tanks on the road.
In front of Morozovsk, the 16th and 13th Panzer-Division are encircling the town. If the former has some success, their brothers are unable to enter it.
Rest and rally: the Italians were for the most able to reach back the safe lines; in the 14th Panzer-Division, only the I/36th Panzer-Regiment was able to make it...
Stalingrad seems less easy to catch before autumn.
The glorious Frontoviki of the 24th and 28th Tank Corps went back behind the Iliukai river, forming a front with the newly arrived infantry from Stalingrad and Serafimovitch.
Less news, and bad ones, from Morozovsk... The Russian army draws a first-line front along the Tsinla, the Chir and the Iliukai rivers and a second line behind.
The first line is stronger and a few food and ammunition has been delivered to Morozovsk.
The 1st Gebirgs-Division and 76th Infanterie-Division are able to cross the Don river at some few kilometers east from Rostov, while on the West the swamps are taken to the Don flotilla’s sailors opening the road to the crossing by the 298th Infanterie-Division and 5th Rumanian Cavalry Brigade.
Failure of the 16th Panzer-Division against Morozovsk...
The German and Rumanian troops join on the road to Armavir, totally encircling Rostov.
Strong resistance in Morozovsk, finally taken by the 16th Panzer-Division, after three new attempts and help from 13th Panzer-Division and 125th Infanterie-Division.
Consolidation. Rostov is besieged.
Nothing special. The frontlines are almost fixed.
Arrival of the 26th Tank Corps south of Rostov to disperse the cossacks trying to push southward.
Bloody seizure of Bataysk by the 26th Tank Corps and the 302nd Rifle Division, permitting to reconnect the city of Rostov, whose western half has been taken by the Panzers of the Viking SS-Division after massive desertion of the defenders. The NKVD unit, left alone, was crushed by surprise.
Rostov is once more encircled and elements of the SS Wiking Div are chasing the Russian outside. The 3rd Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) just crossed the Don on the bridges of the 49th Gebirgs-Armeekorps. The 60th Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) stay to guard the north side of the city.
At Tsimlanskaya, on the East, the 22nd Panzer-Division bridgehead destroyed the fortified Soviet tank brigade, opening a second road to the South.
German HQ looks at the oil fields...
To reduce the pressure on Rostov and across the Don, the Soviet Army launches two limited offensive. First, the 6th Army from Veshenskaya crosses the Don before the arrival of the Rumanians to their riverside. Then, the 66th Army attacks from Serafimovitch. With some success, the two jaws joined cutting two Infanterie-Divisions and the Croats from the rest of the Axis line. The Rumanian 6th Army’s HQ escaped due to the sacrifice of the cavalry.
The second offensive tried to cross the Tsinla. No progression but the Cossacks and German infantry vanished...
The Viking SS-Division and the 3rd Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) crossed the Don and began to invade the south bank.
The 24th Panzer-Division and the Italian D’Aosta Division realigned their front in the north.
The Germans too can launch side operations to disorganize locally the enemy. The 48th Armeekorps (motorisiert) and the 6th Rumanian Army threw the 3rd Panzer-Division, the 29th Infanterie-Division (Mot.) and the 9th Rumanian Cavalry Division on the little bridgehead of Kazanskaya to reduce the pressure on the east crossing at Veshenskaya and may cut the Soviet offensive.
Great success at first, the door is wide open and the Panzers are galloping north. They are even able to get by surprise the Soviet 66th Army’s HQ at Kalach (not Kalatch on the Don!)
On the Chir, the front is realigned in force with the arrival of numerous Italian and counter-attacks from the 14th and 24th Panzer-Division.
Some panic on the north river of the Don. They are big holes and the rail station in Kalach that would receive the reinforcement of the 22nd Tank Corps has been taken by the Germans.
Double move welcomed to close the door on the Don.
The panzers in Kalach are now besieged by the 22nd and 1st Tank Corps, waiting for some air or artillery support to launch an assault. The German relief will have a hard time joining as the door on the Don at Kazanskaya is screened by two Rifle Division (73rd and 387th) and the 38th Guards Rifle Division.
Difficult to supply the avant-guard in Kalach, now surrounded by Soviet tanks. The door through the Don has been reopened but it is still too far.
In Rostov an infantry all-out assault reduced the defenses: only the HQ of the 4th Tank Corps remains...
Violent German assault on the outpost of Pavlovsk: the 62nd and 305th Infanterie-Division attack the Soviet position. Heavy Soviet losses but the position resists. Then the 23rd Panzer-Division attack as a second wave in vain too...
The last defenders of Rostov fall.
Kalach is taken and the German tanks there are all destroyed.
From now, if nothing changes until May 1943 (!), the German should win the campaign... Will the Russian let nothing change? Should we go a little further and, as the weather is still good, either destroy more Soviets, either take the oil fields, or both? I think the important thing from now is to avoid losses and for the next offensives, to make sure to be able to keep an objective before to try to take it!
The Viking SS-Division, 3rd and 60th Infanterie-Divisionen (motorisiert) keep moving south crushing the Soviet in front of them. The Steppes of the Don are so wide...
The remnants of the 3rd Panzer-Division and 29th Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) were able to escape and to cross back the Don to seek cover. This opportunity attack was a really bad idea.
If nothing change until May 1943, the German wins. We have to assess them losses by continual friction, to avoid big encirclement, and to keep oil fields and Stalingrad out of their hands. Then, in winter, we will be able to counter-attack to shift the result in taking Rostov and either Kharkov or Sebastopol.
The Viking SS-Division pushed far into the South, attempting without success to take the city of Armavir by surprise.
The 60th Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) fail to take the town of Pechanokopskoye, near Sal’sk but cut the railroad there: they are no more rail link between Stalingrad and the Kuban.
The 3rd Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) screens the city oy Yeysk, sending a delegation to surrender it.
With the Kuban cut from Stalingrad, it is not the time to regret to miss sending supply there before...
Trucks are sent to Astrakhan to have a very long journey from the city to the troops defending the oil fields.
The 63rd Cavalry Division launched an audacious raid in the rear of the forward elements of the Viking SS-Division.
A lot of troops are arriving by train at Sal’sk, and the defenses around are organizing themselves quickly.
The Viking SS-Division takes Armavir! The 3rd Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) takes Korenovskaya, last step before Krasnodar!
More and more reinforcements and supplies are arriving in Sal’sk where the 5th Tank Army is formed. The 1st and 21st Tank Corps are at the railway station. From Sal’sk and Pechanokopskoye, units led by the remnants of the 4th Guard Cavalry Corps are slowly encircling the German motorized infantry, supported by long-range very efficient bombers flying from Stalingrad.
The 3rd Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) helps their comrades from the 60th to deal with the waves of Soviets coming from Sal’sk. The Viking SS-Division enlarge his spearhead.
The 5th Tank Army continues to press the German and destroy the forces facing them West of Sal’sk. The road to the oil fields is threatened.
It looks like the Germans will be unable to go further neither eastward nor southward and that they should prepare to defend themselves strategically from now until May 1943...
Violent struggle in front of Sal’sk. The Stukas and He 111 with very precise bombings clear the path for the Panzers of the 60th and 16th Infanterie-Division (motorisiert). The 16th Panzer-Division arrives by train as the 29th Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) join the front. The idea is to cut Sal’sk from Stalingrad the next week.
In the same time, the 3rd Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) run to Krasnodar and takes the airport where a first squadron of Croatians pilots lands their Messerschmitt Me 109g. The fight for the center of the city is not yet finished.
Arrival of the 1st Tank Corps at Sal’sk.
The battle develops around Sal’sk, cut from Stalingrad by the 16th Panzer-Division.
One more step into Krasnodar, on the western side of the city with very precise support from the Luftwaffe.
Failed attempt from the 1st Tank Corps to repulse the 16th Panzer-Division behind Sal’sk. The forward defense gathered around the town.
The South is awakening.
(Player note: I discovered very late the South box...)
Failure to take the center of Krasnodar, even though they were only a few defenders there. Even the NKVD unit was gone behind the river...
The chances to take both or even one oil field before the mud and to keep it with a very extended front are fading..
The NKVD soldiers are back into Krasnodar, some tanks are waiting in support south of the city... Around, the lines are moving: the Russian abandon Timashevskaya’s airbase to avoid to be out of supply. But, in the east, from Maikop, the newly formed 58th Army pushes and takes back Ust-Labinskaya, followed by the 2nd Tank Corps.
The Kuban is too big for the overstretched German army!
New failures in front of Krasnodar and Sal’sk.
The 2nd Tank Corps pushes back the Germans before Krasnodar. The city would probably be saved, finally.
In Sal’sk, the evacuation process began: protected by the 1st Tank Corps, the troops are leaving to form a new stronghold in the south.
The Soviet tank’s counter-attack near Krasnodar is repulsed by the arrival of the 16th Infanterie-Division (motorisiert). The Viking SS-Division regroups to take the city, and even launch a deep reconnaissance toward the Kerckhstrait, cutting the supply of Soviet troops behind.
Sal’sk is besieged and cut from the Soviet Tank Army, retreating to find some cover.
Meanwhile, the officers and soldiers of the 126th Infanterie-Division do not want to wait for the fall of the town to continue marching “nach Osten”: they cross at night the Manych river, with the support of the artillery of the 16th Panzer-Division – the very same heroes who ambushed the Soviet tank at Tatsinskaya! A new bridgehead is setting up.
The German bridgehead on the Manych has been entirely destroyed! The troops in Sal’sk received enough supply by air to stand.
Yeysk is finally taken, due to starvation of the garrison.
Krasnodar is taken too, despite heavy losses in the 3rd Infanterie-Division (motorisiert). The Viking SS-Division launched a successful raid to the coast, taking by surprise Tuapse and the supply depot there.
Consolidation of the ports on the Black Sea and around the Maikop oil fields.
The 5th Tank Army continue his retreat from Sal’sk crushing the motorized infantry on the road.
The 3rd Fallshirmjäger Regiment of the 7th Fallshirmjäger Division has been successfully dropped on the south oil field of Maïkop, quickly joined by the tanks of the 5th SS Panzer Regiment of the Viking SS-Division. The 3rd Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) is not far, coming from Krasnodar through the woods to cut the 58th Army in Labinskaya.
The Kerch straits Soviet defenders are now cut from ground supply, only linked by the port of Tammam’, but the assault guns of the 245th battalion are in light of sight, followed by the paratroopers. The hope to get to the Maikop oil fields before the coming mud starts to slowly come back...
The Kerch straits garrison is regrouping in Tamman.
The defenses are reorganizing around Maikop.
Maikop is taken by the elite troops of the 7th Fallschirmjäger-Division.
Stavropol’ is surrounded.
The paras are progressing to the Kerch straits.
Evacuation of the Maikop area.
Maybe the last sunny days of the summer, it’s time to prepare for the Soviet massive counter-attack, probably after the mud and probably just after...
Continuation of the evacuation of the Maikop area. The reinforcements are taking position slowly before the winter offensive. Finally, Stalingrad has been safe all summer long.
Time to break the Damocles sword of the Soviet double move to come: the Soviet plays first.
The reliefs are coming to help Maikop garrison to resist and even to rescue Stavropol’.
There is a very big hole between the north and south German armies, just in front of Rostov. It will be a pain to defend... and a pain to retreat quickly all the south troops in case of Russian attack there... and Russian troops are just coming.
The Kerch strait is now German from both side... at the very moment where the German thinks to evacuate the South to avoid to be cut in front of Rostov...
The reinforcements are reinforcing the defense in the area of Maikop. The Germans are still unable to get the flood of oil from the oil fields.
The troops are gathering in front of Rostov menacing in three directions: the road to Maikop, the road to Milerovo, the main road to Tsimlanskaya.
Novorossiysk is finally fallen and the port provides the Germans with a lot of supplies...
Around Maikop, the Russians are still there and reinforcements are coming.
Facing Rostov, the first curtain of troops builds a thin defensive line. It looks like retreating from the South – Maikop, Krasnodar, and Novorossirks is a serious option. Sad...
Furious counter-attack from the 4th Motorized Corps and the 58th Army East of Maikop.
In the same time, the Manych river is easily crossed by the 51st Army, sending the 16th Tank Corps toward Mechetinskaya. The road to Sal’sk will be cut soon and the Panzer there will have to go back quickly, as all the troops south of Don!
Player note: I do not think the German can win, from now.
Alarm! The 16th Panzer-Division and the 29th Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) come back from the are around Sal’sk and try to close the door through the Manych, in vain.
On this other side of the Don Steppes, the 22nd Panzer-Division goes south to cut the rail from Stalingrad, and even destroy a Rifle Division in strategic mode and capture a depot. The roads to Stalingrad and Elitsa are cut.
The 13th Panzer-Division fails to repulse an incursion near Mechetinskaya.
Unfortunately, Maikop is finally evacuated, at the very moment the oil engineers were able to begin to pump the precious resource... A counter-attack is launched by the 16th Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) and the Viking SS-Division on the rear of the Soviet tanks.
More reinforcements are crossing the Kerch straits to establish a solid beachhead and keep Novorossiysk, Tuapse, and Krasnodar.
The whole strategic situation is openly changed: the roles are reversed. The coming mud can bring some other changes.
The coming month is very important, before the arrival of new Panzer Divisions around the November, 22nd. Will the German be able to resist?
Fortunately, the weather stays dry and the Soviet have the initiative, avoiding a double German move who potentially could have stopped the coming assault on the Manych and the road to Rostov.
The Manych door stays open. The 4th Mechanised Corps continues his advance northward. Everything is ok.
The retreat from Maikop continues, with some less disorder.
The fight in front of Rostov, to block the Manych crossing, continues too. On the other side, the 22nd Panzer-Division, unable to cut safely the rail from Stalingrad, retreats to cover the rest of the army.
First mud! Pretty late but it announces the coming autumn and winter.
The crossing of the Manych river is temporary stopped by the mud (and the Germans).
The 4th Mechanised Corps continues slowly its advance.
The door is almost closed on the Manych River.
The 16th Panzer-Division finishes the job to close the Manych crossing. The 79th Infanterie-Regiment (motorisiert) cross itself the river to destroy the Russian artillery deployed behind and to cut the supply.
The mud gave some rest to the German and allows them to face the future with more confidence.
The Stalingrad airport received the visit of He 111 and Stukas that almost annihilated it and destroyed all the long-range bombers there. Only the transport aircraft has been saved from the fire.
The progression on the Armavir-Rostov road continues slowly.
The battle for the Manych crossing seems to end with a draw as a result, that means a little strategic victory for the German as they are not more menaced by an encirclement of the South.
New bombing of Stalingrad. The planes are safe but the newly hastily built facilities were not solid enough.
As the sky is still clear, the frost begins to bite in the North...
The Hungarish soldiers are crossing the Don around the swamp to establish a front to avoid a surprise through the Manych River.
New facilities have been built in the North to protect the long-range bombers, but the fighters were not yet deployed and the Stukas droped their bombs on them.
Slow advance of the 4th Mechanized Corps toward Rostov.
Assault on the German tanks south of Tsimlanskaya by the 17th and 22nd Tank Corps.
Surprise attack on the just arrived Italians in Tikhoretsk by the 4th Mechanized Corps, supported by independent tank brigades.
It is difficult to escape for the tanks of the 22nd Panzer-Division.
Preparation for the coming winter offensive: cold in north, light mud in the south.
With more or less success the 17th and 22nd Tank Corps cleared the path of German tanks.
The Germans are slowly coming back to Maikop...
Maikop is back in German hands and the rail to Rostov is under threat from the Viking SS-Division.
A limited attack occurs, as a prelude, mainly successful...
Failed attack of the Hungarish, stopped by a terrible Russian artillery barrage.
Counter-attack on the limited Soviet attack.
Invasion of Maikop almost done; the oil engineers are coming back to extract the oil.
Massive assault! A large hole is open in the German lines. The 1st, 24th Tank Corps, and the newly formed 1st Guards Mechanised Corps are heading up to Morozovsk.
In the North, the tanks fail to make the hole.
Continuation of the massive assault.
Two big holes are dug into the German lines: near Boguchar and around Morozovsk. The 1st Tank Corps reached the Bystraia. The 22nd Tank Corps crushed the 22nd Panzer-Division. The 14th Tank Corps, with help of the 1st Guards Mechanized Corps crushed the 24th Panzer-Division...
The assault was not that deep and the German should be able to sustain this during the coming winter month and even be able to keep Sebastopol, Kharkov and even maybe Rosto -on the Don!
The bombing of Rostov continues with great results on the Luftwaffe’s planes.
The Maikop oil fields are taken once more and for the very first time are ready to operate for the benefit of the Reich!
Counter-attack of the 3rd Panzer-Division around Boguchar. The advanced Russian elements are now weak and cut from their supplies.
Counter-attack of the Alert battalions on the Bystraia River to successfully destroy the spearhead from the 1st Russian Tank Corps.
In the center, the wings are slowly retiring in order. The massive assault should not have a tremendous strategic result. Let’s build a strong defense from now until May 1943.
From North to South, variable results of the Rusian offensive.
At Boguchar, everything is stopped. Not enough troops to exploit the first, difficult, assault.
After Mrozovsk, the tanks of the 1st Guards Mechanized Corps and 24th Tank Corps take Tatsinskaya easily and join the ones from the 1st Tank Corps.
The Germans in Tsimlanskaya are cut from the rear by the action of the 13th Mechanized Corps who repulsed easily the Hungarians from Zstvcia.
Mechetinskaya is taken by a brutal assault by the column from Sal’sk. The German paratroopers and remnants of the 16th Panzer-Division and the 29th Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) will have to gather quickly and retreat toward Rostov.
Epic failure of the 5th Tank Army in front of Pavloskaya, while the entire 4th Mechanized Corps is running South to face the SS menacing to cut the rail, as they are retaking Maikop.
First delivery of oil from Maikop. Slow retreat toward Rostov after the continuation of the Russian offensive.
In South the Viking SS-Division and the 14th Armeekorps (motorisiert) cut the railroad and still repulse the Russian, protecting Maikop.
Continuation of the offensive.
The retreat gives the Germans some more solid positions to defend. The fresh 6th Panzer-Division, arriving directly from Normandy, is ready to fight with their Italian comrades of the D’Aosta Division.
The Panzers were able to exit the trap and the 3rd Panzer-Division and infantry of the 40th Panzerkorps destroyed two Guards units and tried even to retake Boguchar.
Not sure the Soviet will be able to break through the German defenses...
The South begins to enter Winter from now. No more mud on the ground... The rail is reestablished between Stalingrad and the Rostov-Armavir road.
The SS are bypassed and feel alone in the steppes.
Violent fight to try to trap the German.
Facing Rostov, a quick move from the left of the Tuapse Operation Group overthrows the paratroopers and almost join the bridges of Rostov destroying the Police SS guarding the track in the middle of the swamps.
Reinforcement of the defenses. Arrival of the 11th Panzer-Division kept in strategic reserve in Rostov. Some counter-attacks from paratroopers and 16th Panzer-Division and 29th I.D. (mot.) cut in pieces the forward Russian elements in front of Rostov. The second wave, formed from raw conscripts will hesitate before advancing into the mud...
First attempt to cross the Donets. The 51st and, 36th and 40th Guards Division establish two bridgeheads on the western side.
With the coming deep frost – facilitating the crossing of major rivers – it’s time to push forward with a double-move and the exploitation of the bridgeheads on the Donest River.
The Germans are now solidly trapped and should try to escape through the frozen swamps. The T-34s of the 22nd Tank Corps took the road to Rostov only to be stopped by an epic surprise from ad-hoc formations around the 4th Panzerarmee.
Aiming at Ostroghovsk, the 65th Army launched an offensive. The city stands but more and more tanks and infantry are surrounding the German and Hungarian lines.
The deep frost does not stop the fighting will of the Germans. They counter-attacks with success in many places. North: the 23rd Panzer-Division goes up to Svoboda, disconnecting from the Don river lots of advancing Russians. At Ostrogozhsk, they build a temporary defense line to supply the most advanced outposts.
At Morozovsk, the Alpin Italian Corps with troops of the 3rd Panzerarmee and remnants of the 14th Panzer-Division take the town, and pursue up to the Tsinla, with two small bridgeheads on it, even on the Nizhne-Chrisrskaya road!
On the Donets, the 6th Panzer-Division launches a violent attack to crush the HQ.
In the same time, the 11th Panzer-Division just arrived at Rostov, stops the progressions of the Russians and help the 1st Panzerarmee to escape from the trap through the frozen marshes.
Around Maikop, the Viking SS-Division regroups, waiting for the Soviet assault that potentially can disconnect the Maikop oilfields.
The roads to Sebastopol, Rostov, and Kharkov seem difficult to follow for the Russians...
Bad news. The German counter-attacks are very dangerous for the continuation of the offensive and even for the survival of the main part of the Red Army!
In Svoboda, the 6th Mechanized Corps found itself trapped as soon as they jump out of the train by the tanks of the 23rd Panzer-Division that crossed the Don and are installed on the rail bridge. The whole offensive of the 65th Army is threatened and all the three tank brigades of the newly arrived and fresh 25th Tank corps are lost around Ostrogorvsk! A courageous attempt to breakthrough, conducted by the 389th Rifle Division and a Guards tank brigade is repulsed by the Germans. Finally, a path of supply and ammo will be established around the German tanks. From that, the Soviet artillery will disperse the tank and support a counter-attack, liberating Sloboda and destroying lots of German tanks.
In the center, quick retreat of the 46th Army toward Tsimlanskaya, reducing the bridgehead on the Donets. Tatsinskaya is not abandoned but seems threatened.
The newly created 2nd Guards Army, try to establish a front east of Morozovsk, gathering some tanks from other parts of the front.
On the Maikop front, an attempt from the 4th Mechanized Corps is bloodily repulsed. But Maikop is now cut...
Maikop is now connected to the Tuapse port on the Black Sea! At the very moment the Russians cut it from Rostov!
The Italian Alpini Corps continues his march south; the 24th Panzer-Division rushes forward to capture the Soviet supply depot of the 46th Soviet Army. The garrison has destroyed the content just before the arrival of the German Panzer. But the Soviet are now trapped.
The tables are turning in favor of the Axis. The Alpini Corps secured the trap at Tsimlanskaya and push to Oblivskaya.
In the same time, the 6th Panzer-Division took the Tatsimskaya airbase, destroying on the tarmac half of the Russian planes there, and opening the road to the 27th Panzer-Division. The link is established with the Alpini Corps.
South of the Don, the warmth and the mud does not stop the paratroopers of the 7th FallschirmJäger Division and remnants of the 60th I.D. (mot.) to destroy the Soviet left wing, as the tanks of the 17th Panzer-Division are jumping out of the train behind them.
Not sure the Russian will be able to have any chance to retake Rostov...
The 46th Army does not exist anymore... After the destruction of his HQ, the entire army collapses in an attempt to go back to their lines. Ten Rifle Divisions, two tank brigades, four artillery groups, and the fierce railroad engineers, so proud to prove the advance of the Red Army in the rail gauge! And the others are still trying to escape, unaware that the next bridges are already occupied by the Italians and that the safe lines they hope to reach do not exist... The road to Stalingrad is now mostly open, even if the newly formed 5th Mechanized Corps just arrived to fill alone the gap.
In the meantime, their brothers of the 6th Mechanized Corps, with the 65th Army, are victoriously exiting from Svoboda, making holes in the German and Hungarish lines.
Looks like the Soviet has no more hope of victory at all...
It’s time to pursue the retreating Russians, to destroy most of them before they can regroup.
Light mud one more time in the South... It should slow the Germans down.
The 65th Army’s offensive keep moving around Ostrogorsk, crushing the 7th Hungarish Corps’s HQ. The 4th Mechanized Corps fails to take Rosso.
Between Krasnodar and Maikop, the little town of Ust-Labinskaya finally falls into the hands of the 5th Tank Army and the newly formed 3rd Guards Mechanized Corps (from 4th Mechanized Corps) cross the river heading for Maikop.
Facing the center, the Russians achieve to regroup.
The odds are clearly turning in favor of the Axis side. The north Soviet offensive should be stopped now.
In the center, a rapid move from the 11th Panzer-Division surrounded the retreating 3rd Guards Army with elements as far as the Stalingrad-Sal’sk railroad!
The second battle of Sal’sk is on the verge to begin as the 16th and 17th Panzer-Divisionen are advancing, despite two epic fails against the first Russian lines west of the town.
In the South, the Soviet columns menacing to encircle Maikop has been attacked in his rear by the remnants of the 3rd Infanterie-Division (motorisiert). The HQ is scattered...
Relaunch of the north offensive with the capture of Valuyki, encircling the 8th Armeekorps.
The 3rd Guards Army manage to escape in direction of Saal’sk.
The 37th Army escapes too and the 18th Tank Corps restores the connection of the columns by-passing Maikop.
To be continued...
The Voronezh Front (47th, 65th, 57th, and 6th Armies) is in offensive mode and destroys the VIIIth Armeekorps. The 3rd Tank Corps and the 6th Mechanized Corps head for Valuyki to relieve the 7th Tank Corps and crush the 19. Panzer-Division!
At Sa’alsk, the 49th Rifle Division and 10th Guards Tank Brigade destroy the Panzers on the south road.
The situation is awkward... At the Heeresgruppe B, the 6. Armee tries to rebuild a front. The VIII. Armeekorps vanished and is difficult to replace in the Kharkov area. The 7. Panzer-Division manages to counter-attack the rear of Valuyki with success.
The XXXX. Panzerkorps escapes from the trap on the Sal.
Same thing for the XLVIII. P.K. near Sa’alsk.
The 1. Panzerarmee attacks near Labinskaya.
The Voronezh Front keeps marching westward. Three tank brigades from the 65th Army crossed the Oskol near Novyy Oskol to be repulsed by the Hungarian security troops posted there.
The 47th Army’s tanks and the 57th Guards Rifle Division reach Valuyki and destroy the 7. Panzer-Division around the town.
Due to command problems at the STAVKA, the North Caucasus stops its offensive. Sa’alsk is now on a defensive posture.
Despite the new orders, the 58th Army maintain the pressure east of Krasnodar.
The North Caucasus Front is not really able to resist to a counter-attack...
Kharkov switches to defense state.
In the South, the XL. Panzerkorps crushes the IIe Guards Mechanized Corps near Kotelnikov.
The 4. Panzerarmee attacks too and encircles Sa’alsk.
At the Voronezh Front, the 65th Army crosses the Oskol River with the help of the Xth Tank Corps coming from the North.
The 47th Army stops at Valuyki.
Sa’alk is almost abandoned.
The 58th Army (North Caucasus Front) maintains the pressure but suffers a lot of losses...
Kotelnikov is quickly reinforced from Stalingrad.
Near Kharkov, the IInd Hungarian Corps and the VIII. Armeekorps build the defenses of the Donets River.
The III. Panzerkorps take command on the Oskol of the 3., 7., and 19. Panzer-Divisionen.
The XL. Panzerkorps takes Zimovniki and encircles the 51st Army in Karasnoarmeyskyi!
The 4. Panzerarmee attacks: Sa’alsk is brutally taken.
The XLVIII. Panzerkorps runs southward and the 6. P.D. takes Kropotkin by surprise and the 13. P.D. destroys the XVIIIth Tank Corps while two Panzer Abteilungen (138. and 323.) repulses the 58th Army, capturing a lot of supply!
The Voronezh Front’s offensive is fading out. The 65th Army tries to take Korocha.
The 47th Army suffers heavy losses to cross the Oskol River: the German 78. Artillery-Regiment repulses five different attacks from the Soviet elite troops!
The Stalingrad Front builds some defenses at Kotelnikov, as the link with the comrades from the south is broken...
At the North Caucasus Front, the situation turns as in a nightmare: the 51st Army runs southward...
Same thing for the 37th and 58th Armies...
The tables turned! The 6th Army stands at Kahrkov.
In the Kuban, the 4. and 1. Panzerarmeen are chasing the Soviet southward, destroying the 51th Army...
… and taking Armavir!
The Voronezh Front’s offensive stops.
The North Caucasus Front steps back in good order...
Roots toward Elitsa!
The fleeing troops toward Elitsa are supported by train busting from the VVS.
The North Caucasus wait for the German assault, reinforced by the newly refurnished IVth Tank Corps.
Bombing the Tuapse port on the Black Sea interrupts the coming supplies.
The XL. Panzerkorps pursues toward Elitsa.
The 4. Panzerarmee is far from their supply sources and forced to halt.
The XXIV. Panzerkorps crushes the lines of the Nort Caucasian Front.
The III. Panzerkorps counter-attacks and cross back the Oskol River with success!
Attack from the 11. Panzer-Division against Elitsa, defended by the 59th Guards Rifles Division,
The XLVIII. Panzerkorps crosses the lake between Divnoye and Priyutnove to meet the 393. Sturmabteilung freshly arrived to catch the airport.
The destruction of the North Caucasus Front is still in process...
The Voronezh Front retreats, refusing its right
wing with the 65th Army.
On the south-west road to Stalingrad, the 62nd Army fortifies the Kotlenikov crossing.
The troops around Elitsa are in disarray...
The North Caucasus Front tries to regroup.
The III. Panzerkorps keep pushing to bypass Valuyki.
The 8. Armata Italiana triggers a surprise attack. Despite bad results, the tanks can behead the 5th Shock Army in Oblivskaya.
The XL. and XLVIII. Panzerkorps join around Elitsa.
The XIV. Panzerkorps attack the North Caucasus.
The 47th Army abandons Valuyki...
Failed counter-attacks from the IIth Guards Tank Corps against the Italians.
Elitsa is evacuated.
The 51st Army wait for the last assault.
The Voronezh Front dugs itself to stop the progression of the Germans.
Counter-attack from the Stalingrad Front: the 5th Shock Army conducts raids between the Italian units and destroys both HQs of the 35th and the Alpin Corps! But two pockets offered great resistance: the reco battalion of the D’Aosta Division with the Kampfgruppe Pohlmann defending Oblivskaya, and the 2nd Tridentina Alpine Division (Generale di Brigata Luigi Reverberi): his men repulsed first an attack of the 315th Rifle Division supported by the 180th Tank Brigade and two independent tank battalions and destroyed the second day a column formed by the 26th Guards Tank Brigade and the 4th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment of the 3rd Guards Tanks Corps! Without ammunition and without losses!
Reinforcement of the 51st Army.
The Großdeutschland Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) and the XIL. Gebirgs-Armeekorps come to the rescue of the Italians to close the opened gap.
The road to Grozny is violently opened by the 6. and 16. Panzer-Divisionen.
The Stalingrad Front’s offensive is stopped. There is a risk of infiltration to Stalingrad by the South, from Elitsa.
The Grosßdeutschland Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) destroys two divisions.
The 4. Panzerarmee is bypassing the position by the South.
The 6. Panzer-Division took Pyatigorsk!
The 17. Armee enlarges the hole in the Russian lines, followed by the newly formed SS Panzerkorps.
Same thing on the right-wing: the XLIV. Armeekorps with the 4. Panzerarmee bypass Kotelnikovo.
The Stalingrad Front is reinforced by the 1st Tank Corps and the 2nd Guards Tank Corps, newly refurbished with brand new tanks.
Strong positions at the Stalingrad Front are waiting for the German assault.
The offensive begins. For the 9. Armee, the troops occupy the vast cleared area and attempt to cut the Soviet line on the Morozovsk-Surovikino railroad. The 27. Panzer-Division arrives near Nizhne-Chirskaya.
On the other side of the Don River, the 17. Armee crosses the Aksai River in two different points and the 11. and 14. P.D. engages the defenses of Tsatsa, at 40 km from Stalingrad!
Kotelnikovo is taken.
The 9. Armee crosses the Chir River, cutting the 5th Shock Army in two.
The 17. Armee crushes the troops on the Aksai River, helped by the 1. and 4. Panzerarmee.
The SS-Division Adolf Hitler opens the road to Stalingrad.
Alert around Stalingrad. The 62nd Army can escape from the encirclement.
The 5th Shock Army steps back slowly, abandoning a part of the Chir River.
The 9. Armee and the 8th Italian Army attack. The Panzers take Pezeralovskiy, crossing the Kuniak River by surprise!
Surovikino is in German hands, too.
On their right, the 17. Armee and the 4. Panzerarmee encircles once more the Soviet 62nd Army.
In the Caucasian Mountains, the LII. Armeekorps took the Soviet position on the summit and continues its march to Adler and Sotchi.
For the Li. Armeekorps, the infantry is now able to relieve the Panzers of the 6. P.D. at Georgiyevsk.
Don Front, the 66th Army retakes Pezeralovskiy...
… and the 5th Shock Army reconnect with Stalingrad Front, leaving two small pockets supplied by air transport.
On Stalingrad Front, the 62nd escapes a third time and inflicts terrible losses to the SS Panzerkorps and the 14. Panzer-Division!
The 3rd Rumanian Army enters the dance: the VIth Corps opens a breach and no less than three infantry divisions exploit it. The 9th Cavalry Division goes directly to Serafimovitch to cut the supply quickly!
Restrained by the Soviet surrounded rearguards, the 9. Armee reached the Don at the Kalach crossing.
Without enough fuel and ammo, the 17. Armee and the 4. Panzerarmee are stopped.
In the Caucasian Mountains the LII. Armeekorps chooses another valley to get to Sotchi.
The VIIth Rumanina Corps (4th Rumanian Army) reaches Georgiyesvk.
The 66th Army is ready to receive the Rumanian 4th Army, especially with the 3rd and 15th Tank Corps and 5th Guards Tank Corps provided in emergency from the RVGK!
The 69th Army and the Popov Operational Group executes some rear-guard fights south of Stalingrad.
Great victories! The 3rd Rumanian Army broke through the Don Front once more.
The 9. Armee succeeded to isolate the Anizhne-Chirskaya from the Stalingrad’s defense perimeter.
The SS-Panzerkorps enters the last ligne of fortifications of Stalingrad!
The 16. Panzer-Division destroys two Army HQs (5th Shock and 62nd) and faces the RVGK in the north of the city.
Panic at Stalingrad! The Don Front reorganizes the lines: Iliukai, Kumiak, to the Volga.
The 57th Army, trapped, reopens a path to the East.
The 69th Army receives the 1st Guards Cavalry Corps in reinforcement and with the 12th Tank Corps manages to counter-attack near Karpova to close the breach. The 2nd Guards Tank Corps escapes from the south of the city and joins the workers improving the defense of Stalingrad.
The Soviet breathes again. The 57th Army is now connected to Stalingrad and the mighty units of the SS-Division Das Reich at the city’s gate are destroyed by a counter-attack from the 2nd Guards Tank Corps.
The 3rd Rumanian and the 8th Italian Armies keep the pressure on the Don Front.
The 9. Armee with the help of the newly arrived 1. Panzerarmee crosses the Don in the rear of the 57th Soviet Army.
The 17. Armee faces great difficulties to reach the lost avant-guard. The Das Reich SS-Division suffers heavy losses to the single 7th Tank Brigade, quickly reinforced by the horsemen of the 1st Guards Cavalry Corps.
South of the Stalingrad, the Adolf Hitler SS-Division crosses the river and touches the Volga, reaching the 901. Lehr Regiment.
The Stalingrad defense perimeter shrinks, with the retreat of the 57th Army from the Kalach areas.
The resistance in front of Stalingrad is broken. The 1. and 4. Panzerarmeen meet not far from Gumrak, traping the last defender of the 57th and 69th Armies...
In the Caucasian mountains, the 3. Jägers-Division bypasses the strongpoint.
The Stalingrad garrison waits for the German assault while the 5th Guards Tank Brigade gathers at the Sloboda rail station. The 57th and 69th Army’s HQs moved to the left side of the Volga with the heavy artillery.
Last stage of the war: the German at the Stalingrad’s gates. The 9. Armee, with the 1. Panzerarmee, the 3rd Rumanian Army, and the 8th Italian Army have to reduce the Serafimovitch, Nizhne-Chirskaya, and Kalach pockets. The Totenkopf SS-Division and the 19. Panzer-Division attack the fortified 3rd and 15th Tank Brigades, destroying the first one.
At Stalingrad, the 17. Armee and the 4. Panzerarmee are in charge of taking the city: the Das Reich SS-Division opens the road to the Grossdeutschland Division and the 901. Lehr Abteilung.
The 66th Army contracts its front and reinforces its left.
In Stalingrad, the 69th receives two Guards infantry divisions and the 5th Guards Tank Corps. Numerous artillery units destroy the German troops outside the city and the 20th Guard Tank Brigade executes a raid on the Gumrak airfield to disperse with losses the F-190 Squadron previously installed there!
From both sides the 3rd Rumanian Army and the 1. Panzerarmee enter the Serafimovitch pocket and cut the 66th Army’s HQ from its units! The Italians enter the show too.
Two big assaults are launched from both the north and south sides of Stalingrad. With heavy losses, the Soviet repulses them...
The LII. Armeekorps finally was able to break through the last defense toward Sotchi.
Retreat in great confusion of the 66th Army toward Serafimovich.
Heavy artillery fire on the German positions around Stalingrad. It is their turn to take heavy losses and suffer disorganization.
The battle for Serafimovich is almost done. The 66th Army is well trapped, as its supply depot and airfield has been captured by an assault gun battalion.
Some Panzers from the 24. and 19. Panzer-Divisionen have even entered Frolovo!
Temporary break against Stalingrad but Keitel does not know how to take the city...
Sotchi is taken by the LII. Armeekorps.
Like the Phoenix, the 66th Army rise again from ashes... with the help of the 6th Army, coming quickly from the STAVKA Reserve.
At Stalingrad, an attempt to post some spotter at Gumrak to direct the fire from the artillery on the East bank is crushed by a counter-attack by the Tigers from the Das Reich SS-Division, posted near.
The fight for Serafimovitch finally continues, with a lot of losses on both sides.
The Panzers retreat from Frolovo.
Two new areas in Stalingrad North are in the hands of the German due to an awesome artillery barrage and bloody streetfighting.
Serafimovitch is once more encircled, by the 8th Italian Army.
Stalingrad is in great danger. The 29. Infanterie-Division (motorisiert) took the ferries from the north of the city and crossed the Volga to disperse artillery positions. The streetfighting continues on the West bank...
Very stressful situation in Stalingrad for the 69th Army!
Serafimovitch and its airfield are free, as long as Frolovo!
"Stalingrad is gefallen!" The entire city is now in German hands and elements from the 29th I.D. (mot.) and the SS-Division Adolf Hitler are already on the East bank of the Volga!
And the Serafimovitch pocket is once more closed on the 66th Soviet Army!
The VIIth Rumanian corps arrives at Grozny.
The 16th Tank Corps retakes Serafimovtich airfield and brings back ammo to the 66th Army, gathered in the city and supplied by airdropping.
The 69th counter-attacks on the East bank of the Volga facing Stalingrad...
The mud is there. Crushing an Italian division, the 66th Army secures the Serafimovitch city and crossing.
The rest of the Don Front starts to build a line of defense from Frolovo to Kamyshin, to avoid a northbound move by the German Panzers from Stalingrad.
No more German soldiers are on the east bank of the Volga. The 69th Army has moped out the area and the artillery starts to pepper the West bank.
Calm on all the front. Everyone is occupied to push some truck somewhere dug in the mud...
The 2nd Guards Army (Ist Guards Tank Corps, XIInd Guards Tank Corps, Ist and IVth Guards Cavalry Corps, 2nd Baku Militia Division) waits for the German around Kamyshin.
The 6th Army and 3rd Tank Army (IInd Guards Tank Corps, XVIth Tank Corps, 68th Guards Rifle Division, 1st Baku Militia Division, 53th Guards and 255th Tank Battalions) are gathering around Frolovo.
The 66th Army (3rd, 66th, 74th and 70th Guards Rifle Divisions, 41th Motorised Rifle Brigade) defends Serafimovitch.
The Nizhne-Chirskaya pocket try to be supplied by air but the Luftwaffe Bf-109G disturb the aerial ballet...
The 4. Panzerarmee deploys behind the Ilovlya River.
The artillery units from the 27. Panzer-Division and from the Slovak Ryckcha Division bombard the Nizhne-Chirskaya airfield, destroying a lot of transport planes forced to land there in emergency.
The focus of the battle will probably change: Stalingrad is very difficult to retake now, but, who knows, some encirclement could isolate it, and Kharkov, another VP is not that far from the Soviet lines...
Nothing to report.
The 3rd Rumanian Army is moving West, letting the 8th Italian Army deal with the Serafimovitch security.
The mud slows the 3rd Rumanian Army.
The transport planes were finally able to make it and the Nizhne-Chirskaya pocket is supplied once more.
Nothing to report.
Aerial battle between Valuyki and Ostrogozhsk.
The Rumanian VIIth Corps in on the Caspienne; Makhachkala is taken!
Nothing to report.
The 9. Armee is slowly reducing the Nizhne-Chirskaya pocket.
Nothing to report.
The 9. Armee fails to take Nijhne-Chirskaya.
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
Nothing to report.
Nizhne-Chirskaya finally fell.
Nothing to report.
Troops concentration around Ostrogovzhsk: the RVGK is around Svoboda... The 90th Guards Rifle Division establishes a bridgehead near Rossoh.
Nothing to report.
Offensive launched byt the Voronezh Front. The 3rd Tank Army runs southward from Ostrogozhsk and crusshed the V. Armeekorps’s HQ
The rain is back as long as a light mud that hinders the movement. The 47th Army takes Valuyki and some Soviet tanks cross temporarily the Oskol Rivel to destroy the SS Polizei units posted there.
The 3rd Tank Army fails to encircle and take Rossoh.
The 40th Army besieges Kantemirovka and bypasses the Rumanian defenders of the Don.
Hoping that it will redirect some of the Soviet reinforcements, the 17. Armee attacks towards Kamyshin and crushes the first enemy lines.
The 3rd Rumanian Army, with the help of the SS Panzerkorps, resists.
At the 6. Armee, the III. Panzerkorps fails to counter-attack.
The sun is back and the Soviets keep the initiative. Hurrah! Pobieda! The 47th Army continues to destroy the German units around Valuyki.
The 3rd Tank Army isolates and destroys the 16. Panzer-Division.
The 40th Army destroy a lot of SS-Division Totenkopf units.
At Kamyshin, the 2nd Guard Army launches the 1st Guards Tank Corps to destroy two Infanterie Divisionen of the XIII. Armeekorps!
The 6. Armee starts to dig trenches to resist the Soviet pressure on the west bank of the Oskol River.
The 1. Panzerarmee deploys between the 6. Armee and the 3rd Rumanian Army ton help the SS Panzerkorps in retreat.
The 17. Armee with the help of the 4. Panzerarmee attacks at Kamyshin with great results.