Michael Eckenfels, 3 October 2021
The 295th was formed from newly trained soldiers in April 1940. It first saw combat in Russia in 1941, sweeping across the Ukraine and Donets, only to be turned back by the Russian winter offensive of 1941-42. The next year the 295th was involved in the Kharkov-Izyum battles, Voronezh, and Kalach, as well as the fighting on the Volga. The 29th Infantry was surrounded at Stalingrad in November 1942… (Hitler’s Legions, pp. 211)
Our map analysis showed that our Romanian comrades’ sector is paper-thin. Not that we’re particularly strong everywhere else, but this particular area is a worry. And, our group is not the only ones to point this out – the Ic agrees with our assessment, which is enough to have 6th Army command the 295th Infantry Division to extricate itself from southern Stalingrad to move there. That’s one hole plugged. We wonder how many more there will be. From my own curiosity, I sought to learn a bit more of this Division, which I’ve notated elsewhere in this diary.
That was the last IP to spend.
However, we still need to see if Hoth and his relief force makes it further towards Stalingrad. Since their Relief Effort is Strong, this will help a lot.
click images to enlarge
So the German Phase ends and the Soviet Phase begins. This is divided into a few sub-steps; we first check to see the status of the ‘Final Offensive,’ which is the final, all-out effort the Soviets give to collapse the Pocket, and then resolve Soviet attacks on the Pocket’s perimeter.
This Offensive number on the card draw is how far we need to advance the Final Offensive marker. It starts at 1, and if it reaches 8, that’s where Uncle Joe and his Reds come hell bent for leather. This draw means the marker does not move, which is absolutely fine by me.
Now we need to resolve Soviet attacks on the perimeter. There is a wide range off possibilities here, from nothing to an all-out attack on all sectors. And guess what I draw?
Yep! Attacks all along the Pocket’s perimeter.
Here is the before picture:
And here is the after:
Stalingrad Solitaire is published by Canvas Temple Publishing
The Soviets hit us hard today on the northern and southern part of the Pocket, looking to split us in two, apparently. A sound strategy, trying to keep us from retreating to the eminently defensible positions in and around Stalingrad itself. All attacks failed to gain any ground, but the 297th Infantry Division took heavy losses in repelling the Soviet 67th and 64th Armies’ attacks. Our defenses in the sector where the 295th Infantry Division and 20th Romanian Infantry Division, as well as the 24th Panzer Division, were thoroughly trashed in the defenses, though. It will take some effort to rebuild them in both locations. Hopefully, Ivan did not notice how weakened the defensive structures in both places are, now!
And yet, this is just the beginning. We can only hope we hold out long enough for Hoth’s panzers to make it through…
Michael’s Stalingrad Solitaire AAR will be running on Sundays
Finally, the Evaluation Phase. Here, we check how things are going across the front (via the SSI level). Right now, the SSI (Strategic Situation Index) is a relatively strong 10. I rolled a 2, which means -1, but we have two modifiers – since the Luftwaffe made a Strong commitment, that’s -1 to the die roll, and since the Relief Force has a Strong commitment as well, that’s another -1 modifier, making my die roll a zero. That’s -1 to the SSI, so it drops from 10 to 9. Army Group South’s position has just become a tad bit more precarious.
Finally, we check for German Collapse. This happens if the Soviet Final Offensive has started (it has not, yet) and if German Morale is 20 or less, or if there is 20 or more Wounded Points (Morale is 33 and there are no wounded right now). So, we’re far from collapsing…at least, at the moment.
Come back next Sunday to see what’s next!
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