These formations were still short on administrative personnel, artillery, and transport, but months of working together had bred confidence among the ranks. The Soviets had their own advantage, however. With the Totenkopf Division on the left wing, the LSSAH Division in the centre, and the Das Reich Division on the right wing, the three divisions began their advance on Kharkov. Two convergent thrusts—one from the south, with 57th Panzer Corps on the left and 47th on the right, and one from the northwest by II SS Panzer Corps—caught the Soviets by surprise from all directions and vaporized them. The German tempo slowed. Spanish and Portuguese Military History, Wargaming, and other stuff. Manstein was the brains behind the unorthodox operational plan that destroyed the French army in 1940. The offensive opened on December 12. Rybalko’s Soviet 3rd Tank Army were waiting for them, with the 1st and 2nd Guards Tank Corps and the 48th, 104th, 305th and 307th Rifle Divisions inside the city. The German player publicly nominates two terrain features to be used for Victory Objectives. Soviet supplies—especially fuel—were running low, Russian tank corps were losing their cutting edge, and men were near exhaustion. Manstein’s mission was simple to describe, but less simple to accomplish. On November 20, they summoned the general from the Leningrad front and put him in charge of a new formation, Army Group Don. On 6 March, Manstein launched the second phase of his offensive with Kharkov as the objective. But he would also find himself a prisoner of his strategic situation, reminded that even a brilliant commander has limits. The Germans had already been planning an operation to remove the Izium salient south of Kharkov. The 4th Panzer Army was dug in downstream of the Donets River and the Don River to cover the withdrawal of the 1st Panzer Army from the Caucasus. This scenario was originally an opportunity to try out a few rules. The German assault troops were formed into Kampfgruppes and each was given a road to attack down. In March 1943 Hausser’s SS Panzerkorps was given the task of retaking the city. For weeks in late February, the situation hung in the balance. The late January evacuation of the Caucasus led this sprawling campaign into its third stage. While these field battles were taking place, Manstein needed Army Detachment Hollidt to hold the line at the Mius River to give the counter-attack forces time to get into position. In response, the 4th Panzer Army from Army Group Don launched an attempt to break the siege in December. The Soviet offensives were reaching what the great philosopher of war Karl von Clausewitz called a “culmination point,” at which energy flags, friction rises, and the machine stops. Manstein knew he had drawn blood. Please refrain from using strong language. They themselves were now in danger of being encircled by the rapidly advancing Red Army. Key features are: All terrain objectives must be in the sector of the table south of the line B-B. The Soviets made a gritty stand in the ruins of Stalingrad, then counterattacked north and south of that city, encircling the German 6th Army. HTML tags are not allowed. In the next few days, 1st Panzer, under General Eberhard von Mackensen, came up into the line on Manstein’s left wing. 19 Feb 1943 : German Army Group South began a counteroffensive toward Kharkov, Ukraine and Belgorod, Russia. Under this plan, the SS Panzer Corps would strike southwest from Krasnograd with the Das Reich Division and Totenkopf Division. This scenario represents the typical house to house fighting that went on. Deploys first south of the line A-A.
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