At first I wanted to make traditional AAR, but... Writing down just a first turn (my turn) took 3 pages of A4. That's a lot of text. Only the staunched readers would've read it through and it'd also take me a lot more time for me to write down the entire scenario. So, I've decided to make a YouTube video - I'll be faster for me to do and easier for people to follow my achievements. For the first scenario I am also adding a lot of helpful info so my viewers will know what's going on. I am not sure if I should add my voice to it yet. Maybe I will, because sound, text and image come together.
2nd Battle of Kharkov
May 17th, 1942
Offensive of the Red Army has managed to capture the highway linking Charkov with Zaporizhia. Soviet 6th Cavalry Division is now barely 60 kilometers away to the east of Poltava. Russian tanks are almost at the gates of Charkov itself. 57th and 9th Armies took defensive positions on the way leading into the city. Group Army South has been cut into two parts. From the north Charkov is threatened by 22nd Tank Corp along with units belonging to 28th Army, the ones who took the rivercrossing from the Germans a few days before. Luckly for the Whermacht the 6th Army has managed to stall the enemy assault before road Bielgorod-Charkov fell into the wrong hands. The city is to be encircled on both sides. Roads from the whole road network converge here, if Charkov falls the forward units of Army Group von Kleist will be forced to break out of the encirclement and fall back behind the river Doniets. Oberkommando des Heeres has given the orders to taked Izium, Kupiansk and Olchovatka.
The fate of the German ofensive in Ukraine hangs in the balance.
German plans for counter-offensive at Charkov
The commander of Army Group South, feldmarshall Fedor von Bock, has decided that the key to success shall be the strike of the 1st Panzer Army in the north and two Panzer Divisions - 14th and 16th - in the south. The goal of the first group was to create a breakthrough on the way to Izium and threathen the Soviet crossing from the other side of the river. If this maneuver has succeded marshall Simon Timoshenko must've given the order to stop the advancing in direction of Charkov-Bielgorod and throw his men in other direction to secure the bridge, the only way send supply through Doniets as the northern bridge and Bielogrod itself were still in German hands. Otherwise he'd risk leaving his rear exposed to Von Bock's panzer columns. The second group had only one task: capture the bridge near Izium and hold out. Without this bridge it was impossible for the Soviets to supply entire southern force in Izium Salient. Crucial for the whole counter-offensive was holding Charkov. In the north two infantry divisions (57th and 75th) were given orders to retreat to the other side of the river and blow up the bridge, to secure that part of the front.
The outcome of German counter-offensive
The plan has succeeded, but only in half. The bad weather made Luftwaffe ineffective and tanks were bogged down in the mud. Heroic stand of the Soviet 38th Army caused severe infantry losse. In the end, there was no breakthrough in the center as Von Bock has planned. In the south German motorized and armored columns has managed to capture the bridge, but their supply lines were cut off by desperate counter-attack of the cut off Soviet units in the Izium Salient. This meant their progress was effectively halted as well. When battle raged over Olchovatka no units was near enough to take the objective. In total the German counter-attack was a moderate success, but it could've been much better if not for the mud slowing the advance on the first four days. The Soviets were in full retreat.
Next will be the Battle of Voronezh.
PS Look like you need to watch video on YouTube as subtitles aren't big enough in video here...
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