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Orel
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White Grand Campaign AAR-"Grandfathers, have you heard? The war has now started!"

Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:07 am

Hello Reader,
The following is a recollection of events and actions of the Armed Forces of South of Russia since June 1918(Grand Campaign). Sides:
Reds- OneArmedMexican
Siberian Whites-DarkGarry
Southern Whites-Orel
Options: no activation rule, small battle delay, 75% of income from sea boxes.
House rule: Whites should not recognize independence of minor states.
The AAR is currently two turns behind.
(The story of the Civil War)

Turn 1a.JPG


Turn 1: The Opening and launch of Operation Falcata

The situation begins in a very poor way for the Southern Whites. Head of the Volunteer Army General Denikin has no place to retreat, blocked by the river Don and German occupation. His army reserve consists of two cavalry and three infantry divisions. Another cavalry brigade is in vicinity to the army, in the neighboring region. Don Cossack troops are dispersed, some being still on the other bank while others being a horde of detachments with little order. There are two more fronts to care about: the Tersk front, consisting of 10 Cossack infantry regiments and two cavalry regiments plus 2 that serve as garrisons in Petrovsk-Port, and the Tzaritzyn front: about one infantry division well away from the railroad and main forces. According to White prognosis, they are facing three armies: Sorokin’s, Stalin’s and Taman plus a series of garrisons and minor detachments. In this desperate and grim situation Denikin calls the Generals to his headquarters.

If there is one thing the Generals and colonels could agree on: they stood little chance. They lacked money, troops and munitions. One-two battles and there will be none to fight for Holy Russia. An operation was needed that would resolve this situation. This resulted in an offer by General Lukomsky to encircle the Reds using the cavalry available to make a thin encirclement around Sorokin’s army. General Markov found the idea good, yet criticized the way it was to be done. If it was to occur, the White troops would be separated too much, making them an easy prey for the Reds. Even the river’s protection had little effect here. General Markov and General Denikin came up with a plan code named:
Operation “Falcata”.

The idea was to have the Don Cossacks take the south-east of Sorokin’s army, White Cavalry the west while Denikin would pressure Sorokin from the North. The Don Cossack detachment of Mamontov would form a division and make a leap upon Tikhoretsk. General Sidorin was assigned to take command of this corps, and the objective was to capture the south escape route of Sorokin. General Krasnov agreed to take the White army cavalry and circumscribe Sorokin from the west. The most vulnerable was the east. The town of Salsk was to be covered by a few regiments of mounted Kuban Cossacks, hardly able to withstand the Red hordes. Theoretically they could hope for the troops from Novocherkassk, yet the Red river fleet could easily intercept them, making this hope a mere wish rather than a realistic desire. This left general Udovenko with all hopes on a successful repel of the Red gangs lying on the shoulders of the neighboring Sidorin corps and Volunteer Army reserve. All reinforcements the Cossacks would receive, is General Denisov who would at least give some chance to call the neighbors for help. The heaviest burden lay on the shoulders of Denikin’s colored divisions: Kornilov, Markov and Drosdowsky. They had to pressure the army of the Reds in the trap with as little casualties as possible. Yet the morale of the soldiers of the Ice and Drosdowsky march was high and fear preferred to pass by these men. To the Reds which were nearby.

Turn 1a.JPG


The troops underwent reorganization: all cavalry was detached from the colored divisions to form the Cossack cavalry division of Pokrovsky and White Cavalry division of General Erdeli. General Ulagai was detached of his beloved plastuns and sent to the Tzaritzyn front as chief in command. His light infantry joined the Drosdowsky fusiliers. The most fearsome appearing regiment of the Whites, the Kornilov Shock regiment, also received reinforcements in the form of armored cars. The Markov Division was the only one to remain without additions. The army reserve also received a Don aircraft squadron, to slow down by 4 days that were needed for the neighboring corps to take control of all escape routes, with the exception of the one leading South. General Kutepov left for the Tersk front. Others were preparing to join their assigned corps. All was prepared for the cunning and bold operation “Falcata”.



Yet even from the strategic perspective even the total success would mean little. The White staff was aware that the Reds have at least two armies other than the Sorokin’s. If these two armies were to merge or make a coordinated attack, the White army even in full power would hardly be able to win.

Fortunately the first two weeks of operation “Falcata” were successful. Sorokin’s rabble met the white divisions in close combat, yet managed to inflict serious casualties. 1260 White volunteers decorated the plains of Zernograd, as well as 5000 Red counterparts. Losses too heavy for the White volunteers to take. Now a turn was to be spent on recovering. Fortunately the troops from Novocherkassk arrived and took control of the poorly protected east. Mamontov’s division knocked out Kalnin’s unit with the score of 574 to 1742 Now Sorokin was encircled. The Whites recalled the good old days of the Imperial Army, and began to dig trenches for protection. It was planned that for at least a month, the Whites would abstain from serious offensives, this not including petty raids on poorly garrisoned enemy towns.

Turn 1a.JPG


Meanwhile, on the Tzaritzyn front arrived Ulagai and took command of the Cossacks there. The troops had just taken a naturally well protected town of Balashov, through which a vital railroad passed and which had been protected from both sides by minor rivers. They had the job to destroy the rail line as quick as possible to detach Southern and Central Russia. The same was to be done by troops in Salsk and two cavalry regiments from the Tersk front that had taken a stand between Tzaritzyn and Tikhoretsk. The Reds were not to deploy their finest troops on the South! If this would occur all would be ended for Holy Russia.





Turn 1a.JPG



Meanwhile, the Tersk front had captured Vladikavkaz. The sieges on Derbent and Kizlyar were laid, while the sent to Astrakhan General Bogaevskiy reported that Kirov is stationed in the city.

Turn 1a.JPG


First turn overall: Major success. The Whites encircled Sorokin, and fulfilled all other minor objectives in this turn. The price of this was as high as 2290 men vs. 1200 prisoners of war captured.
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Turn 1b.JPG
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PhilThib
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Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:58 am

Very interesting...and nicely made. Bravo :thumbsup: :coeurs:
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DarkGarry
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Siberians (2nd turn)

Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:02 pm

In the meantime Siberians steadily advance on all fronts Siberia, Middle Asia, Ural, besieging towns on the way. Little resistance is met so far, except in Ekaterinburg Corpus Comander Berzin put up a fierce resistance and repelled the first assault with casualties 4000 whites / 6000 reds. Few red formations were destroyed so despite defeat oficers got some seniority points.
Berzin retreated to Kazan next turn.

Irkutsk factory was destroyed by uprising of workers... bad news. One of the minor siberian officers was killed in clashes with garrison in Chita.

So, by second week we Siberian Whites took:
Ekaterinburg, Perm, Saratov, Viatka, Samarkand, Ashkhabad, Orsk, Aralsk.

Some reforms and requisitions started.

SRs uprising gave us temporarily Yaroslavl, Arzamas, Rybinks, Vologda. These small garrisons may try to disrupt railroads, and ... die as heroes... Good officers should be evacuated and lead offensive to the heart of Reds Plague - Moscow.

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Orel
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Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:18 pm

Turn 2: Cutting steel.

Overall nothing serious was to be awaited. Sorokin’s army encircled and White troops unable to make a good strike created a quiet atmosphere in the mind of Denikin. General Markov of course, wished to continue the assault on the Reds, inspired by the recent victory.

“Anton Ivanovich(Denikin), after the Zernograd skirmish the Reds are exhausted. They currently are a horde of gangs, with little order and obedience. We are encircling them right now, and if we continue our assault, they will surrender. We must strike now, before they entrench and receive reinforcements. Otherwise we will have to pay with extra lives for waiting.”


Just a week ago, he was almost killed by an exploded artillery shell that knocked off the grip of his shashka. Yet, if there was one thing a Russian officer could never be doubted of: it was bravery, and Markov was not just a Russian officer but was also a tactics professor in the General Staff Academy before the war. He was right in his statement. Yet tactics is not what wins a war…

“Sergey Leonidovich, I fully agree with your argumentation. Yet victory will cost us too high of a price. We already have lost over a 1000 men. We need rest. The Reds are encircled and will sooner or later attempt a breakthrough, hopefully with the help of the rest of their troops. Otherwise, they will exhaust themselves from a lack of supplies. In either case, they will only exhaust themselves more as time passes. Currently their greatest potential is limited to inflicting casualties upon us. They cannot defend Kuban from where they are, nor create problems in our rear. We will allow them to receive reinforcements, since reinforcing these troops is pointless and leads only to a depletion of Red resources. Eventually these Reds will surrender and then there will be little of a difference how many of them there will be.”

Thus after a small discussion, the staff decided to wait and entrench. As well Denikin dispatched orders to General Ulagai, General Denisov and two mounted Cossack regiments to destroy railroads in their regions. This would cut the Red troops from reinforcements from central Russia. Ulagai was also ordered to hold Balashov to the last youth with a revolver. Meanwhile on the south, the troops in Vladikavkaz were to take Grozny.

This was planned to be one of the rare turns when the White army could rest. Great battles were in the mind of Denikin in the near, yet future.

The attachment Game 3(turn 2).JPG is no longer available



Yet the Norns had different wishes. Red troops under command of Sorokin attempted a wild breakthrough from the bag they were enclosed. Luckily it was the South where he headed, where General Sidorin and Mamontov held firmly Tikhoretsk, and were happy to welcome the Reds with bullets and bayonets. General Krasnov again joined the fighting with his fearless cavalry. Overall, this day resulted in 686 crosses for the Whites and 2531 revolutionary heroes for the Reds. One Red banner was captured, ending the lengthy and rich history of the 2nd Caucasian regiment. Sorokin was exhausted when he entered the battlefield, while after meeting the Whites again, he was barely able to move his troops. This resulted in a situation used by the White movement later on.

In other news, a few skirmishes by Derbent and Kizlyar, surrender of Groznyi to White troops and the arrival of the White wolves. One of the few lucky, yet exhausting turns evolved from a turn meant for rest.

Overall: Success, about 4955 Reds eliminated and 400 prisoners against 770 fallen Whites.
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Orel
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Turn 3:The end of Operation Falcata

Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:04 pm

Finally the White movement felt strong enough to make a final blow on Sorokin. The past turn, his troops were exhausted by the bloody battle of Tikhoretsk, and it was reasonable to presume he was about to surrender. The Whites attacking from every visible point were to destroy Sorokin for good. The happiest was Markov, who awaited this moment for a while. From Groznyi marched Cossack infantry. The Red Taman front was evacuating seawise. Kuban seemed almost free from the Red plague: all that stood before this was the army of Sorokin. Only his 9000 men prevented White troops from capturing Ekaterinodar and Armavir. It was about time to end the history of the Red North Caucasian army.

Turn 3a.JPG


The Cossacks from Groznyi were ordered to commence their march to the main forces. However, cautious behavior was recommended. According to the 1.5 month old fresh intelligence information, Kalnin was somewhere within that area. It would be most justified for to stay in Armavir, since this was one of the last of the two depots/bases for the Reds in the Kuban. Considering the recent breakthrough of Sorokin, all that could be found is that the Reds have little hope in fighting in the South, yet Kalnin must have been waiting for Sorokin to make an organized breakthrough to Tzaritzyn. As soon as Sorokin’s troops lay down arms, Kalnin is doomed and will most likely sprint to Tzaritzyn, where recently the Reds erected a fort. Sadly for them, the fort would be of little help. It would of course, provide a level of entrenchment of 8 rather than the usual maximum of 4 when in the field, yet all entrenchment levels past 5 benefit artillery alone, with no effect on infantry. But, this will raise a garrison allowing the Reds to remove quite a number of troops from Tzaritzyn, including Chapaev’s division, Stalin and the possible column of Kalnin. Where shall they go? Against the Siberians or the volunteers? The question entrenched in Denikin’s mind. He decided to wait for the report from Kutepov and his Terek Cossack Infantry.

The Whites charged the Reds from every point on the horizon. From the North assaulted the volunteers. From the South came General Sidorin’s cossacks. From the east General Denisov’s cossacks. And the west was covered in White cavalry under command of General Krasnov. The cavalry initiated the battle, charging at the comrades with unsheathed shashkas. A small Red gang attempted to stop the cavalry, but was overthrown as a canoe by a sea tide. The cavalry trampled over the Red detachment, but its’ agony gave Sorokin an extra hour to deploy his troops. Exhausted and weary, the Reds turned their rifles at the cavalry and positioned their machine guns. The Reds aimed. The cavalry continued galloping, careless of the lethal bullets. Just before opening fire, panic began in the Red ranks as they witnessed the arrival on the North of the dreadnoughts of the White movement: the Kornilov regiment. Armored cars supported them with short bursts of bullets. The Red morale began to collapse, and Sorokin ordered to retreat as quick as possible. Yet there was no escape from the White menace. The south and east were now visibly covered in advancing Cossacks. Seconds: and White cavalry came face to face with the panicking Reds. The Reds separated in their last decisions for this day or life: some surrendered in time, while others attempted to still fight, shooting in all directions. But all was hopeless. The battle was lost by the Reds before it even began, and ended on the third hour, when the whites captured the empty Red supply train.

Officers gathered to observe the results. The battle of Kugoyevskaya ended in a huge victory for the White movement at little cost. 16 Red banners and 2100 prisoners of war out of total Red losses of 6983 people: that was the result of the last day of Operation Falcata. The White movement lost as little as 287 men. General Sidorin was to be promoted. In two days, messengers arrived from Kizlyar and Derbent to report of the surrender of about 2000 Reds, yet they met with far more important news. The backbone of Red resistance in Kuban was broken.

Turn 3a.JPG


Overall: Colossal success. Reds lost over 9000 men(2300 as prisoners of war) against 287 Whites. The road to Ekaterinodar and Tzaritzyn was opened.
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DarkGarry
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Siberian Frontline

Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:18 pm

On the Siberian side things are going not so good. Elite Red forces of Latvian Fusiliers led by Gen. Vatsetis were able to join Muraviev forces in Simbirsk and they put a fierce defensive fight. 4 kavalerie regiments, 1 field gun and 1 arm. train were lost in assault, casualties were 8000 whites - 6000 reds, -2NM, the only good news is 1 elite Latvian regiment was destroed.

On other development - Siberians continued steady advance, binging rear regiments to the frontline. A partizan activity was detected in Cheliabinsk area - most likely it is light horsemens from the Bluher army, that was disbanded into separate regiments to my surprise. Partizans going to be a problem.

Frunze was regaining ground in Tver destroing rebel regiment. On the success side - the defenders of Nijni Novgorod surrendered bringing me some NM.

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Orel
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Remarks on RUS: Tactical Encirclements

Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:49 pm

Posts such as ones with the following title will be examples of my viewpoint on certain aspects of the game.

First of all, tactical encirclements in the game are very rare. There are limited opportunities for doing so, due to the lack of troops at hand as well as other reasons.

For the Southern Whites these other reasons usually mean simply a lack of time and replacements for doing so. When playing the Southern Whites’ side, the player must be extremely cautious and have an ability to foresee the development of the situation a few turns ahead. Any defeat may be the last one, since a defeat or victory at a high cost may deplete the resources of the Southern Whites(this will be discussed further in another post in the future). This causes the Southern Whites player to avoid clashes with enemy forces at all costs, until the last one comes when the final blow has the opportunity to win the war.

This creates a situation in which the Southern Whites are hardly able to make an encirclement of enemy forces that would benefit them, except the army of Sorokin in the beginning of the game. An encirclement, in order to be successful, must end for the encircling side in either of the two ways: a final assault when the enemy troops are surrounded and have nowhere to go(the victory over Sorokin in this game), or the eventual destruction of the encircled army due to a lack of supplies. Here the Southern Whites’ player must swim between Scylla and Harybda: a victory where he can lose a solemn number of deficit troops which they are not be able to replace, or a great deal of time spent on the troops encircled, which for the Southern White faction may mean losing time for an offensive. Not speaking of the possibilities of an enemy breakthrough or help from the exterior which even further increases the chance of too heavy losses.

If there is one problem a player notices throughout the game: it is a lack of troops, especially from the Southern White side. This has a very sensible effect on encirclements. One could propose encircling with single unit detachments, yet this encirclement will not remain intact even for one turn, since it can be easily broken. Thus, you need to have troops in formations of at least a few brigades to a few divisions size, depending on the period of the game you are playing. Yet even then, you will not have enough divisions in the single stack to hold back the enemy onslaught on a single region, if the enemy has his number of troops anywhere comparable to your overall encircling army.

What is the solution then?

Corps. They can support each other and their army reserve if they are in neighboring regions, this is called in the game “Marching to the sound of guns”. So when the enemy attacks one corps, the neighbors try to enter the battlefield to give aid in repelling the enemy troops. As an example from my current game: when Sorokin attempted to break the encirclement through Tikhoretsk, Sidorin’s corps met him and the neighboring General Krasnov’s corps also helped by coming from the neighboring region. This division in corps size units allows a certain possibility of an encirclement to exist. Yet very rarely is there a region with the proper perimeter for this to occur. The region of Kugoyevskaya(Kuban theatre, where Sorokin was destroyed) in this sense is a pearl, since it is surrounded by only 4 regions which allows the Whites to establish a relatively dense encirclement. Yet regions such as that are quite rare in the game. Other regions may be surrounded by 7 regions, which doesn’t allow the player to create an encirclement dense enough to withstand an enemy breakthrough attempt. The player, even if he is playing for the Reds, will simply not have enough corps commanders to do so, not even speaking of a proper quantity of divisions to protect the occupied territory.

Even if he does have enough commanders and troops to PROTECT(as in defend if attacked and not attacking the enemy yourself, in the game expressed as defensive posture) the region with corps he may not have enough troops to occupy the region well enough to forbid the enemy from breaking the encirclement. There is a remarkable aspect of the game which has to do with postures: if a force enters a region of which it controls less than 6% and has a defensive posture(this posture orders to defend in case of an attack from the enemy but not to start combat yourself) it switches to an offensive posture(that orders to attack the enemy regardless of whether he is attacking you himself or not) thus making the troops that wished to only defend themselves and generally avoiding battle, to attack the enemy troops in the region. This is vital for encirclements, since if you have a region nearby occupied by enemy troops de facto, but de jure being still under your control, you can simply slip away past the enemy troops in a defensive posture that allows you to take advantage of the terrain in the region and not fight the encircling enemy. There is of course a chance of this even when the region is 100% occupied by the encircling force, yet in order to pass by these troops the encircled must take a passive posture, which implements combat penalties and often makes the troops not follow orders due to an enemy attack or threat of an attack, and can be easily intercepted by placing the encircling troops in a attack posture. With the lack of troops the White player has, the use of encirclements is very limited.

The Reds also have trouble doing these, since although they may have enough troops they lack enough corps commanders. This makes every force on its’ own, offering the Whites an opportunity to inflict serious casualties on a certain detachment with barely any consequences.

Thus, the most probable faction able to do this is the Siberian faction, this will generally pertain to the area in the quadrilateral formed by Nizhniy Novgorod, Kazan, Syzran and Penza, though it could be used for other regions too. One of the main reasons of this is the river Volga, on which the Siberians have a huge advantage in the face of the river fleet allowing to prohibit the enemy from crossing the river. Also, they have more troops, time and resources than the Southern Whites and a sufficient number of corps commanders, unlike the Reds. As well, the character of their theatre differs from the plains of the south, often involving rivers and occasionally forests which decrease the mobility of troops. As well, cities are far less abundant, as well as depots being further away. This presents the Siberian player more opportunities than anyone else to make an encirclement.

The same to be said about pursuing the exhausted enemy in case he manages to break the circle of hell. If on the Southern theatre, the enemy often has the opportunity to slip away to a depot in the same turn the encirclement is broken, the Siberian theatre is different, providing this opportunity only if the enemy uses his railway points, and not always allowing the enemy to reach a railway connected to the rear railroad system in the same turn he broke the encirclement.

As well, the resources of the Siberian player also are far greater in number, due an abundance of cities giving a good amount of money and conscripts. This broadens the opportunities of the Siberians and allows them to cross swords with the Reds a few times, and even in case of defeat replenish the losses, though in the general scheme the Siberian player is unable to win using a war of attrition strategy. Yet even for the Siberians, an encirclement is rare.

There is also another opportunity for an encirclement dealing with not who is encircling but with who is encircled. This generally deals with troops having armored trains, or in the case of the Reds: Trotsky as the commander. The presence of such movement restricted troops allows the encircling side to cut off all routes of retreat by covering just two regions, by taking control of the regions where the railroad leads. Once the enemy recognizes this fact, he must decide whether he should entrench and hope that he will repel the enemy attack, charge at the enemy or leave the expensive elements behind while saving the rest.

There is also another notable aspect, though dealing with UNSUCCESSFUL encirclements: if all regions but one are uncovered by the enemy, the encircled may leave the territory behind and retreat, allowing the encircling side to gain some territory. This may be useful in a case when you urgently need territory, as the Whites do in the beginning of the grand campaign, yet are unable to make a proper encirclement.
Yet even if you manage to successfully encircle the enemy, your horrors are not over yet. You must occupy the region fully, otherwise there is a chance that in case when you launch the final attack, the enemy may slip away in one of the regions you previously occupied.

Overall encirclements are very hard to come by. They can occur only when the enemy or you have no far going plans, and most of your desires being limited to capturing the control over a certain grand region, in the Southern case this would be the Kuban, in the Siberian this would be the Volga grand region. This may also only happen when the enemy has all his troops in a single stack, this often occurs when two nearly equal forces are in a stalemate position when neither is able to destroy the other yet if they separate even a tiny detachment they could be defeated. In such a case, an encirclement is an invitation for the enemy to attack your detached troops in a state of being well defended in the occupied regions or an invitation to give up the currently protected territory, threatening with the destruction of his army.

But if you are willing to conduct an encirclement I would satisfy the following requirements:
1. You should be ready for an external force coming to save the encircled troops, or know that it will not arrive.
2. You should have enough time to hold the enemy in the bag, otherwise there is barely reason to make an encirclement. This generally applies when you are in a state of a continuing offensive against the troops of your opponent.
3. There must be a reason for the encirclement. If an encirclement is aimed at destroying the army, predict what you will gain by destroying this army. Often there isn’t the luxury to destroy all enemy troops on the map, and if you destroy one force, even a one that is very large, yet do not approach closer to victory or the main objective, you are not repaying the losses you have taken.
4. You must be well prepared for an attempt of a breakthrough or even a successful breakthrough. Try limiting the enemy in choices. For example: The most vulnerable position planned in the encirclement of Sorokin was Salsk, where most probably the Reds would be headed since sound hopes would be only for the Kuban cavalry brigade protecting this sector which left it barely protected. In case of a successful breakthrough here, the Reds would have rather limited abilities to protect Kuban and would have to go either to the Caucasian or Tzaritzyn theatre, in either case leaving Ekaterinodar unprotected and the Taman army unaided.

Judging by my experience, there was only successful tactical encirclement that regularly occurred in the game: was for the army of Sorokin by the Southern Whites. There were a few unsuccessful ones on the Siberian front, which yet had high chances to be successful. But this only applies to tactical encirclements, when the troops you command occupy all provinces that neighbor the one occupied by the enemy. I find there is another type that I call “Operational Encirclements” when the enemy army has the railroad lines that could provide supplies and a road to retreat is blocked, yet in this case it is generally not planned to destroy the enemy army by one attack. Of it I will speak later on.
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DarkGarry
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Re: encirclement

Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:48 pm

Good article. Still I think "pure" encirclement - when all area around the enemy army is occupied by our forces is suboptimal solution. I'll try to explain this point below.

The defence/attack power ratio is normally about 1.5 / 1. Need to include entranchement of defending side into the equation. So the attacking force should be about 3 times stronger then defending side to carry out a successful attack. Same thing is stated in military books and guides. So the game model looks correct.

So if we want to attack enemy forces - we should have about 3 times as much forces as defenders. If we want to encircle enemy - we need to split forces and occupy a lot of areas. What is the reason for encirclement (but not attack) -
1. starve
2. prevent retreat

Note - every army that participates in encirclement should be greater than 1/3 of enemy forces. Othervise enemy may attack this army with high chance of success. "March to sound of guns" concept works with some probability and MAY NOT WORK, so you should not count on it.

I would say that it is sufficient to cut enemy from railroad retreat - allow retreating to areas that not close to target retreat location. So if enemy want to escape into some wilderness or swamp I would let him do so and will guard an exit. After we cut enemy - we can attack with sufficient forces, or try to starve enemy if our forces are not sufficient(also we have good supply access for our army).


Game model limitations
Game model does not support the concept of frontline (at least in RUS), so it is not possible to have sequence of areas unpenetrable for enemy forces coming from certain direction. There is EVASION - so with some luck and probability enemy can go through your army without a fight.

In game model there is no army "heading" or orientation, so it does not matter if we attack front or "rear" of the enemy army. In the real life the benefit of encirclement is ability to hit enemy line in the rear areas that are usually weak and unprotected. That is why encirclement was so feared. The need to protect rear areas will stratch thin defending side on the main direction of attack if they want to defend from ALL sides. So in game attacking from different directions at same time does not provide attacker any benefit but in real life it does.

Conclusion - because of game model limitations, encirclement provides little or no benefits to attacker and difficult to execute. Still make sense to cut and split enemy forces to defeat them one by one.

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Orel
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Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:30 pm

DarkGarry wrote:Good article. Still I think "pure" encirclement - when all area around the enemy army is occupied by our forces is suboptimal solution. I'll try to explain this point below.

The defence/attack power ratio is normally about 1.5 / 1. Need to include entranchement of defending side into the equation. So the attacking force should be about 3 times stronger then defending side to carry out a successful attack. Same thing is stated in military books and guides. So the game model looks correct.

So if we want to attack enemy forces - we should have about 3 times as much forces as defenders. If we want to encircle enemy - we need to split forces and occupy a lot of areas. What is the reason for encirclement (but not attack) -
1. starve
2. prevent retreat

Note - every army that participates in encirclement should be greater than 1/3 of enemy forces. Othervise enemy may attack this army with high chance of success. "March to sound of guns" concept works with some probability and MAY NOT WORK, so you should not count on it.


According to a widesprad opinion the ratio should be 4 to 1 for a successful attack.

Towards the numerical superiority: I wouldn't be so sure. I would suppose that if I had an equal by number army I think I would have chances to successfully encircle and destroy the enemy, if the region is like Kugoyevskaya or not far away from it in terms of neighboring regions. Though it would be pretty hard.


DarkGarry wrote:I would say that it is sufficient to cut enemy from railroad retreat - allow retreating to areas that not close to target retreat location. So if enemy want to escape into some wilderness or swamp I would let him do so and will guard an exit. After we cut enemy - we can attack with sufficient forces, or try to starve enemy if our forces are not sufficient(also we have good supply access for our army).


That is something I would call a "Operational encirclement" and I will write on that further.


DarkGarry wrote:Game model limitations
Game model does not support the concept of frontline (at least in RUS), so it is not possible to have sequence of areas unpenetrable for enemy forces coming from certain direction. There is EVASION - so with some luck and probability enemy can go through your army without a fight.

In game model there is no army "heading" or orientation, so it does not matter if we attack front or "rear" of the enemy army. In the real life the benefit of encirclement is ability to hit enemy line in the rear areas that are usually weak and unprotected. That is why encirclement was so feared. The need to protect rear areas will stratch thin defending side on the main direction of attack if they want to defend from ALL sides. So in game attacking from different directions at same time does not provide attacker any benefit but in real life it does.

Conclusion - because of game model limitations, encirclement provides little or no benefits to attacker and difficult to execute. Still make sense to cut and split enemy forces to defeat them one by one.



True, and this is what baffles me. You never get an advantage if you outflank the enemy with fire or make a concentric attack.

There is also another thing when dealing with a concentric attack on an encircled enemy: he can retreat PAST your troops if the region where your troops are coming from is not fully occupied. When in reality then the retreating enemy would meet chains of infantry in the direction they are retreating.

For example: if I were to attack Sorokin on the second turn with Sidorin's corps, Sorokin would have the right to retreat to Tzaritzyn since it was not fully occupied y my forces.
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Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:59 am

The Grand Campaign always interests me. I am more comfortable with the Short Campaign. The Grand Campaign seems to demand large victories by small forces.
Now that we are all back in the forum, how have events advanced?

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Turn 4: Eating the fruit of victory

Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:37 am

After the defeat of Sorokin, Kuban seemed unprotected. The Taman front evacuated. Kutepov did not find Kalnin’s column by Armavir and he proposed that it went to Tzaritzyn. Sorokin’s troops encircled and eliminated. Yet in the situation Denikin was in, he preferred to avoid risky moves. He decided to take Ekaterinodar during the next month. Then possibly make a dash at Tzaritzyn.

White troops were reorganized in 3 forces:
Denikin army reserve: colored divisions(Markov, Kornlov and Drosdowsky divisions).
Sidorin’s 1st Cossacks Corps: Don Cossack detachments of infantry under command of Poliakov and Mamontov.
Krasnov’s Cavalry corps: All white cavalry in three divisions.

Kutepov was ordered to capture Stavropol. Sidorin was to take Armavir. Krasnov with his cavalry was to take Novorossiysk. Denikin would lead his colored divisions to Korenovsk, from where he was to attack Ekaterinodar.

The White movement of the South received information of a force emerging on the far North of Russia. General Miller and Colonel Zvegintsev occupied Murmansk and Archangelsk, having roughly enough troops about one good infantry division plus an infantry brigade. Additionally they had two heavy armored trains and help from the allies. Yet they weren’t strong enough to do anything in the eyesight of strategy, so the best they could do was to stay behind in the North, where the Reds wouldn’t attack them. Yet Denikin wanted these troops to do something. He began to analyze possibilities he could take advantage of with these troops. The answer he arrived to was safe, beneficial and very dangerous for the Reds, but it had to wait for the winter months to come.

Turn 4.JPG



All that could be notable: For an unknown reason Sidorin didn’t reach Armabir, yet Novorossiysk and Stavropol were taken. A Red armored train attempted to take Groznyi, but was repelled.
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Turn 5: Redeploying

Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:47 am

According to the news from the Siberian Front, things are not going well. Bloody battles rule the Volga theatre, and so far no force has achieved victory over the other. I sadly have barely have an ability to aid my ally, and can help only by restraining the troops in Tzaritzyn from joining the comrades on the Volga theatre.

Things on the south are quiet. Only an armored train of the Reds is somewhere by Groznyi and had a few encounters with small detachments from Petrovsk port the previous turn. For an unknown reason, Sidorin’s Cossacks did not take Armavir. Oh well. Kutepov shall correct this mistake with his Tersk Cossack infantry.

Meanwhile the Whites noticed a perturbation in the positioning of the enemy: one Red division under command of Stalin has left Tzaritzyn and began to march South. It stopped before the first region where the railroad Tikhoretsk-Tzaritzyn was destroyed. It must be Stalin is preparing an offensive on Kuban. As well, a minor Red cavalry detachment has temporarily taken Bataisk and Azov. This seems very strange from my perspective.


The White staff has decided that this is part of preparations to attack Kuban from Tzaritzyn. It seems that Stalin’s troops are there to repair the railroad, and possibly conduct reconnaissance of the positioning of the White troops. To prepare for this, General SIdorin was called off the march to take position in Salsk, in case the Reds begin an attack on Kuban. General Denikin is to capture Ekaterinodar, where it has been found that only a detachment of Red militia takes a stand. General Krasnov with his cavalry was to punish the Red cavalry and take position in Balashov to outflank a possible Red offensive.

Turn 4(.JPG


Overall: a relatively peaceful turn in the mind of the staff. But again, they were wrong.

A 35000 Red Horde attacked Balashov where 13200 Cossacks quartered which were now under command of General Mai-Maevskiy: a military genius, yet with some negative too. The Cossacks refused to retreat before the Red army, and took position in the trenches. The Reds charged over a river that both slowed them down, and severely penalized them. If not the river, the Cossacks would have been swiped out as dust. But fortunately Balashov is well protected, having in both directions to which the passing through it railroad leads to an encounter with a river, making Balashov a diamond for a defender. The Cossacks without any artillery, fought ferociously and eventually the Reds retreated. The Cossacks barely stood on their feet by the of the battle and succumbed to rest as soon as it was over. The following morning, they captured a Red messenger, who informed them that they eliminated 10916 Reds, and totally destroyed two militia detachments. For this victory, 3802 Cossacks sacrificed their lives in the trench network and field. As well, the Red messenger said that Komandarm Kamenev has disappeared during the battle, in the Red ranks it was rumored that a Cossack by the name of Kozma Kruchkov(1) managed to carve his way to Komandarm Kamenev and killed him with his saber . The messenger didn’t know whether this was true or not, but he said that now all written orders in the army are signed by Komcor Blucher(2).

Turn 4(.JPG


Among other news: Novocherkassk was lost, and the gunboat squadron heroically sank fighting the Red river fleet. But the White army striked back, taking Armavir and Ekaterinodar, thus securing its’ rule over all of the South of Russia. Overall the turn was successful: 15236(900 as prisoners of war) eliminated Reds versus 3904 lost Whites.

1- Kozma Kruchkov- A World War I hero of Czarist Russia. Famous for successfully fighting 27 Germans side by side with 3 other Cossacks, killing 11 of them himself with a saber and pike. For this feat he was the first in the war to acquire a Soldier’s Cross of St. George of the 4th Degree, as well as numerous gifts from the Russian society. In the Civil war fought for the Whites and died in one of the battles, by some information against a Red commander.

2- As OneArmedMexican informed me, Komandarm Kamenev was killed in the battle of Balashov.
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August-September, 1918

Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:51 am

The main action for 1918 is over, thus there will be less occurrences of important events which makes it tougher to write lengthy reports on the action. Thus now it is by month, to spring.
The Cossacks in Balashov were able to rest in the trenches for two weeks after the attack of Kamenev. Stalin retreated to Ivolya, covering the escape route for the Balashov defenders to the Southern Theatre. The troops that attacked the Cossacks the previous turn returned to Tambov where the old friend of the Southern White movement comrade Sorokin took overall command. It seems they wish to make an attack on the Siberians in the next couple of months.

Down south, Red partisans roam the countryside destroying railroads and temporarily taking control of regions. Most of the White movement infantry advanced North, to threaten Tzaritzyn. A bit stayed behind to repair the damaged railroads. The Volunteer army rested in Ekaterinodar for a month, training the two militia units that are the garrison to regular infantry. The cavalry of Krasnov rested for two weeks and departed to the North to aid the Cossacks in Balashov. In the same city General Denikin began to build a field hospital. As well, the White movement announced its’ intent to loan money from the population promising to repay once the Red monster is slain. This money was to be used to muster new regiments and give jobs for the workers of the South of Russia in factories producing armored cars, trains, artillery, rifles, sabers and much more that would allow the Volunteer army to fight the Red hordes. Two weeks passed, and the money was successfully obtained and used to form 6 infantry brigades(24 infantry regiments and 6 artillery batteries condensed in 6 units) in Ekaterinodar where 4 officers with the ability “training officer” quartered(Sidorin, Denisov, Lukomskiy and redeployed from the North Zvegintsev). One month and these will be ready to join in the liberation of Holy Russia.

Meanwhile reconnaissance revealed the transfer of Stalin to Tikhiy, blocking the railroad from Tikhoretsk to Tzaritzyn. But Krasnov with his cavalry outflanked them, being on the shore of the river Don just southern of Kalach-on-Don. There now was a chance for the Balashov Cossacks to escape south, but it may have been a trap so it was decided to wait two weeks just in case Stalin wishes to return. The troops in Balashov were to spend two weeks in building a depot, that could serve the Volunteer army in the future offensive. Additionally, the mobility of the troops was severely affected by the autumn rains. Partial mobilization began, calling all sons of Russia to the tricolor banner. On the North, British troops took control of Karelia. No battles, just some minor skirmishes with the partisans occurred during these peaceful months.
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October, 1918

Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:54 am

The first part was a continuation of the previous two months. The only difference was the transfer of an air squadron from Murmansk to Balashov, for reconnaissance purposes. In Ekaterinodar, two additional infantry brigades began to be built. Another peaceful month was expected. After the first two weeks, the Red partisans repaired a railroad in Salsk, destroyed back in the day of the struggle with Sorokin, which made me wonder whether the Reds were preparing an attack on Kuban. At least Stalin acted suspiciously, constantly moving by rail the corps of Voroshilov and Chapaev with a number of armored trains, together having the nominal combat power of 1000.

Yet worries began to haunt the staff of the Volunteer army. Two enormous Red forces disappeared from their previous positions in Tambov and Petrograd, altogether worth about 5 corps + the corps of Kirov that also vanished from Astrakhan. The Siberians were immediately informed of this, and though doubtful as they may seem, there were presumptions that the Red troops transferred to Voronezh to board the river transports and disembark in Novocherkassk, where just recently the Reds raised a Cossack division. But the alarm was found false, once the Siberians informed that the Reds moved one region east of Tambov.

As well, the Siberians asked information on Astrakhan, and whether there were troops there currently. The intelligence reported that those troops, along with the Astrakhan transports disappeared without a trace. After a conversation between the two sides, it was agreed upon that the unguarded city was to be taken by General Erdeli with two regular cavalry regiments. In this he was successful, Astrakhan became the last captured city in 1918 for the South.
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November 1918

Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:08 am

The Great War is about to end. The sons of Russia flock under the banner of white, blue and red. Many of the prisoners also agree to participate in the battle for the fatherland. In the beginning of November the Ossets and Chechens join with enough cavalry for an extra cavalry division, one horse artillery battery and one regiment of infantry. The allies finally managed to aid the Volunteer army directly by sending a military mission capable of training two regiments of conscripts to normal, organizing staff work, and giving bonuses to Russian infantry. As well they promised financial and war supply aid. For the Southern White movement: this period is the beginning of a new epoch.

3459833.jpg


For the Siberians things are worse. One of the most well trained and prepared forces, the Czech Legion, will leave Siberia soon. Tough times await Siberia and its’ new leader Admiral Kolchak. After almost half a year, the Siberians have achieved great success, holding to Penza, Samara, and Syzran while capturing all of Russian Middle Asia, Kazan, Saratov, Perm and Viatka. They were the ones who took the main losses and battles, distracting Soviet troops from the South. They have done all that could have been requested from them by the Volunteer Army. Will they be able to proceed at a similar rate without the Czechs?
Hopefully, the help of the allies will allow them to restore their quantity and keep up their pace.

3459833.jpg



Generally speaking the period of winter arrived, when there would be little action on the field but much in the rear. As I could observe the Reds are using a number of special operations on their territory to bring them conscripts, money and war supplies needed for new troops to be built. The White movement does not drag behind, receiving aid in funds and munitions from the allies, allowing them to keep up with the armed forces race with a comparable pace.

New White troops emerge in Pskov, making up about two good divisions, 2 light armored trains and three partisan units under command of General Rodzianko. There was no chance for them to survive in Pskov, being so near the Red bases and being so small in number. It is known that nearby in Petrograd, the Reds have a solemn force under the command of Antonov-Ovseenko. Something had to be done to prevent the death of the North-Westerners.

3459833.jpg


From Murmansk departed two armored trains to Rodzyanko right through the Soviet heartland. This was dangerous, yet the armored trains were quick and managed to pass by the Reds fast enough.It is intended for them to play the most important role during the winter campaign of 1918-1919.

Balashov was finally abandoned by the brave cossacks which departed to Mihailovka. Behind they left a destroyed railroad, a depot and the site of a heroic defense. The Southern White troops began to concentrate in Rostov and Novocherkassk, where new troops were to be raised and the existing were to be reorganized.
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December 1918

Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:54 pm

Since its' appearance, the Northwest army was very vulnerable to attacks. Being so near the Red bases, blocked by the border and so detached from other White armies allowed it to do only one thing: gloriously die exerting bullets and damage upon the enemy ranks. But General Denikin thought of a better way to use them: down in the South.

Thus the Northwestern army began a dash to the South. General Miller in Murmansk was informed of the desire of the Volunteer army staff to give him command over the Northwesterners and to have them retreat to the South. 4 armored trains(2 that arrived from Murmansk and 2 from Pskov) began to capture the road of retreat for the Northwest army, while cavalry began a few raids on enemy territory capturing ungarrisoned towns and conducting reconnaissance. The Reds were unhappy with this, and dispatched army commander Antonov-Ovseenko with two corps to prevent this retreat by taking the important railroad crossing at Shimsk. But the Northwest army went around the Reds and in two turns reached Vitebsk hoping to conduct an attack soon on Smolensk: but sadly Smolensk was taken by one Red corps(equivalent to a white division) which was greater resistance than the half manned regiments of the Northwest could overcome. Now the Northwest army was almost fully surrounded: from the North advanced Antonov Ovseenko, from the East was one Red corps. The only escape route via railroad was now to the West, to Minsk where there shouldn’t be a garrison and from where the army could retreat to Vilnius, where supply stocks awaited them.

On the South things were very stable: most troops stayed by Novocherkassk and Rostov, training conscript infantry brigades to regular infantry. The troops were to receive new artillery in the form of three 152mm batteries + 1 that was supposed to appear in the Crimea and new infantry regiments that should arrive soon from Crimea. Cavalry awaited three cavalry brigades. No battles occurred now for almost two months. The main concern was the movement of Stalin between Tzaritzyn and Novocherkassk: he captured the regions with the railroad using his armored trains and moved in with three corps, from then onward patrolling this road. A bit annoying, but safe since the Volunteer army saw that his troops were too weak to capture Novocherkassk or Rostov.

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End of 1918: Yearly Report

Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:02 am

Christmas is approaching. The Volunteer army passed the bloody tests of 1918 liberating Astrakhan, Groznyi, Armavir, Derbent, Stavropol, Ekaterinodar, Novorossiysk, and Rostov.
It is about time to draw the conclusion for 1918.

Losses in 1918:
Reds: 89689 people from combat
Siberian Whites: 42001 people from combat
Southern Whites: 7922 people from combat

National morale:
Reds: 91
Siberia: 111
South: 127

Geographical gains of the Whites(by city, or region capital):
Southern Whites
Initially: Novocherkassk, Murmansk, Petrovsk-Port

Gained: Rostov, Sevastopol, Pskov, Archangelsk, Ekaterinodar, Armavir, Groznyi, Stavropol, Astrakhan, Derbent.
Thus the Southern Whites captured all of the 4 Southern regions(Don, Kuban, Stavropol, Terek), part of Crimea, the far North and Pskov. All objectives are fulfilled for 1918.

Siberian Whites:
Initially: Vladivostok(Far East), Nerchinsk(Far East), Novonikolaevsk(Siberia), Tomsk(Siberia), Omsk(Siberia), Chelyabinsk(Ural), Orenburg(Ural),Uralsk(Ural), Samara(Volga), Syzran(Volga), Penza(Volga), Bukhara(Middle East), Khiva(Middle East), Semipalatinsk(Siberia).

Gained: Khabarovsk(Far East), Blagoveshensk(Far East), Chita(Far East), Verkhneudinsk(Far East), Irkustsk(Far East),Krasnoyarsk(Siberia), Ekaterinburg(Ural), Perm(Ural), Ufa(Ural), Simbirsk(Volga), Kazan(Volga), Saratov(Volga), Tashkent(Middle East), Samarkand(Middle East). Ashkhabad(Middle East).

Therefore, the Siberians captured all of Siberia, Far East, Ural and Middle Asia and most of the Volga region. They too, fulfilled all objectives for 1918.

As it could be seen, currently things are good for the White movement. Allied help and a surplus of engagement points allowed the Southern Whites to increase the army. But OneArmedMexican was not one of those who wish to be left behind, performing numerous requisitions and forced conscription special operations to reinforce his army with more troops. The struggle between the sides continues.
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Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:13 am

New year has arrived. General Miller writes in his journal
“Christmas has passed, New Year is here, the army is stationed in Vitebsk. We are surrounded by the Reds. Today I have decided to continue our retreat before it is too late. The intelligence reports of Gai-Khan, that previously quartered in Kharkov to have disappeared in an unknown direction. I presume the Reds have decided to finally destroy us. Vitebsk has no depots and our supplies will soon deplete. I have no other route to go to other than Minsk. From the North Antonov-Ovseenko, from Smolensk looks Zinoviev. I have no other choice than to presume that Minsk is now well garrisoned, enclosing us in an operational encirclement. We cannot stay in Vitebsk: we are already in danger of being outnumbered and destroyed. The only option there is to outmaneuver the Reds by going to Gomel without entering Minsk, leaving the pursuers behind.”

02.jpg


The next day the army left the town of Vitebsk and began the Northwest Winter March. Troops marched in the cold, saved only by the warm clothing from the supply trains that permitted the troops to avoid attrition losses. The army arrived to the destination in 15 days to meet the armored trains that before had captured the railroad before the troops. Out of the 4 armored trains there initially were, only three remained and they were in the wrong region. After hopeless attempts to learn the cause of this from the exhausted crew by General Miller,pale and exhausted General Rodzyanko reported that the army is standing on the edge of a cliff.

After successfully passing by Minsk, where only one enemy regiment was seen, the trains ran into 36202 men led by Egorov in Gomel. One heavy armored train was lost, at the cost of 615 reds. The army outmaneuvered a Red force that didn’t exist at the cost of a heavy armored train! But this was not the only sad news.

Down in the South the losses were twice the ones by Gomel. Earlier the White Armored trains conquered the railroad to Voronezh, and decided to do the same with the railroad to Kharkov. But had an encounter with over 50000 Red guards led by Gai-Khan, which led to the heroic death of the two light armored trains. For the last few months, this hath been the greatest losses that the Southern White movement has suffered! More importantly: an expensive one, since armored trains are hardly replaceable due to their high cost and build time. A sad two weeks for the White movement.

But war continues, with White troops that rose in Crimea arriving to Rostov by Sea, training conscript regiments to regular and waiting for the rebelling against Communist policies Don Cossacks to arrive. The Volunteer army multiplied a few times from the initial 3000 that left with General Kornilov in the Ice March, having a far greater firepower and technological level. General Markov, Drosdovsky and many others who began the Ice march are still alive, commanding the finest divisions of the Russian Army.

02.jpg

02.jpg

02.jpg


Will the Red troops be overcome by their valour and talent? Will the words of the march of the Kornilov regiment:


"Soon will Moscow’s bells be ringing
In every church dome
Then will enter in triumph swinging
The Russian soldiers home” (1)

fulfill?

Will Russia be liberated?
The White movement thoroughly prepared to make the answer positive.

1)I will try to give the full version of the march in the future, as well as other translations of authentic White Army marches. These translations are done by myself, and may slightly differ from the real words in the song due to the initial songs being sung in Russian.
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Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:44 pm

A very nice AAR! :)

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Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:11 pm

Thank you.

Unfortunately, I lacked the time in the most recent while to continue it, but I will try to in the future.
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Sun May 13, 2012 10:17 pm

End of January 1919

No action occurred. The Northwesterners retreated to Minsk, preparing to meet the Red onslaught well protected in trenches. The Reds didn’t pursue them.

In Ukraine, a French and Greek force landed, giving the White movement an army group limited to being used in Ukraine alone.

In the South, troops were raised and organized from the chaotic mixture of regiments in divisions. Novocherkassk was the training camp for the newly raised green conscripts that would often march through the town singing their regimental march. But those that yet had not known to which division they will belong usually song the “Song of Foreseeing Oleg” or merrily marching over the snow singing:

“Grandfathers have you heard
The war has now started
Leave what you’ve been up to
Prepare to be departed

We’ll bravely go to war
For Holy Russia!
And all as one we’ll shed
Our young blood rushing

From the far away Kuban
From the quiet Don
All have gathered
Who to Russia is a son

We’ll bravely go to war
For Holy Russia!
And all as one we’ll shed
Our young blood rushing

Here by the trenches
Bullets are flying
But we whites aren’t afraid of them
Neither are we of dying

We’ll bravely go to war
For Holy Russia!
And all as one we’ll shed
Our young blood rushing


Far away have appeared
Advancing Red lines
Machine guns prepare to roar
Open fire carabines

We’ll bravely go to war
For Holy Russia!
And all as one we’ll shed
Our young blood rushing

Shells are exploding
Machine guns are shouting
Our stances are still with us
Our faith is not routing
We’ll bravely go to war
For Holy Russia!
And all as one we’ll shed
Our young blood rushing


Eternal remembrance
To those who have died
Everlasting glory
To those who have survived

We’ll bravely go to war
For Holy Russia!
And all as one we’ll shed
Our young blood rushing(2)”

And through the training the green conscript regiments would advance to regular level. The troops prepared to pay with sweat now rather than blood in the future. All troops from Crimea were now evacuated to Novocherkassk where they were reorganized into new divisions. Don Cossacks have also reached their Southern colleagues and reorganized to form a powerful and mobile force. The heroes of Balashov’s defense under command of Mai-Maievskuy, now retreated to Novocherkassk as well, threatening Stalin with a attack on his rear that would make him caught between Novocherkassk and Tzaritzyn. The last news that is worth mentioning is the beginning of the French and Greek Corps march to Kiev from Odessa.

1: I will try to give the full version of the march in the future, as well as other translations of authentic White Army marches. These translations are done by myself, and may slightly differ from the real words in the song due to the initial songs being sung in Russian.

2. Authentic White army march, translation is of my own(Orel). A version of it was in the Red camp as well, the song being initially of a romantic love theme transformed during the days of WWI into a military march. There is the White version I gave, but there is also another one. The other version is in the sound files of the game under the name “My_smelo _v_boy_poydem” sung by the Valaam chorus in Russian. Though the refrain remains the same.
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Sun May 13, 2012 10:20 pm

Interlude: The warplans of the South prior to Spring 1919

As spring approached the South prepared to resume war activity. The Southern staff, composed of many intelligent staffers had arrived to the conclusion that in a long term war of attrition, despite British help the South is destined for defeat. The Southern Whites could only offer a good army against the Red hordes that had the strong industrial core, vast territory and abundance of large cities. Thus the South arrived to the rejection of the idea of a war of attrition and came to the doctrine of overrun.

The doctrine demanded the Whites to hold the strategic initiative throughout the year, capture major territory and earn outstanding victories. It was risky, but it was the only chance the Whites could count on. It was decided to determine the major forces fighting against the Whites.
To the North there are three roads from Novocherkassk: Tzaritzyn-Tambov, Novocherkassk-Voronezh and Kharkov-Kursk. Each road had its pro and contra side, and the opinions divided.

Tzaritzyn: Guarded by Stalin with three corps. Is considered the easiest to gain, but most pointless:
The officers divided on the issue of where to launch the attack. Three major groups formed:

The first was composed of Generals commanding the main Cossack forces: Sidorin, Mai-Maevskiy and Denisov. They supported an offensive against Stalin, since they argued that the defeat of Stalin and conquest of Tzaritzyn will allow the White movement to increase their operational reserve by at least 20000 men who would otherwise be pinned to Novocherkassk. Stalin being the closest, possessed the greatest danger in their eyes, and more importantly occupied the home regions of the Don Cossacks. If troops were sent to Kharkov or Voronezh, the Cossacks would suffer from a penalty due to their close ties with their home ground. By the Don, these penalties will not exist due to them being in their home region.

The second party consisted of Generals Drozdovskiy, Markov and Borovskiy who supported an operation by Kharkov. The main proponent was Markov.

The third party was supported by General Mai-Maevskiy, Poliakov and Ulagai. They offered to encircle Voronezh from the North, taking position at Utkino where a minor river would protect them from a relief force coming from Tambov. General Denikin also initially supposed this option to be the most promising, since it allowed to leave the Azov river fleet of the Reds without a naval base in Voronezh, making it search for a new one and possibly get sunk while passing Novocherkassk. As well, initially the troops in Voronezh were the weakest, incurring combat penalties as well due to being insufficiently commanded by Comrade Kalnin. The disadvantage of this option was the ability of the Reds to escape with a 70% chance from destruction by marching east to the railroad between Tambov and Tzaritzyn. Though General Denikin hoped to prevent or at least postpone this with the aid of the Don partisans.

“Sires, we should remember June of 1918 as an example: then Sorokin was defeated with tactical maneuver by a very small force: we have a good opportunity to use this experience by Kharkov. We could use what General Kornilov did under Ekaterinodar, that is attack the Reds from the rear where they do not expect us to attack. Look at where and how the Red army is positioned:

In Voronezh, Kharkov and by Tzaritzyn the enemy has large forces in a defensive stance. The cost is too high for us to directly attack them. So instead we can make use of the territory between Voronezh and Kharkov which is unguarded. The cavalry can march through the open steppes and cut the troops in Kharkov from the North, while the infantry advances from the south-east. After that the Red troops dependent on Kharkov are cut off of connection with other troops and the rear. They will lack a place to retreat, since the east and North are covered by our troops leaving South and west as the only options. Both directions are unreasonable for a retreat since both make the Reds enter Petliura territory with no depots or locations for the Reds to supply themselves from. Thus they will be encircled with no place to escape to.”

“The Red troops could outmaneuver the cavalry from the west.” Remarked General Lukomskiy
“Yes, that is true. But then we are left with Kharkov and we could possibly prevent this maneuver by moving the cavalry slightly to the west. As well, the Reds will require time to do this, during which their supplies will be depleted. And it is quite justified to suppose that the Reds have a shortage in supplies, since it has been seen before that Gai-Khan and his 3 corps often travel by rail, which makes them good candidates to remove all supply wagons that could be thought of as excessive. We also have good reasons to suppose that Gai-Khan has used up his small stocks of supplies in his force because he camps away from towns, which requires extra supplies to be spent to prevent attrition.” This was General Drozdovsky continuing the argument.

“Sirs, we may be lacking the troops to do so. We can only count on three corps out of four in this campaign due to the necessity of protecting Novocherkassk. That is roughly 130 000 men. Will this be enough to defeat the force of Gai-Khan?” asked General Denikin.

“I am firm it is. The question is: with what degree of casualty? We need not a victory of Pyrrhus. We have more intense battles on the horizon, this should not be our last one.” Replied General Drozdovsky.

“Three corps in this situation is probably as much as we need. The 50000 Reds are reluctant to fight, they lack heavy artillery and armored units. They will probably attempt to avoid a battle, and retreat by outmaneuvering, which we can intercept with our lighter forces. One of the main advantages of the Reds as defenders, is their capability to use railroad transportation that increase their speed a few times. With our first maneuver, we nullify this advantage and force them to use their feet more often that exhausts them and decreases their limited cohesion. More importantly, we have 40000 of cavalry that are quicker than they are, allowing us to properly answer the Red maneuvers. We should have enough troops to achieve victory.”

“Sergei Leonidovich, the intelligence reports that the enemy has increased his Kharkov group by 2 more corps, making the resultant number of 5 enemy corps. Maybe we are entitled to destroy 50000 with an acceptable degree of casualty, but are we capable of destroying the probable number of 80000?”

General Markov stopped. He replied with on a far less enthusiastic note

“No. I doubt that we could achieve a proper victory with such odds. We would have chances if they would attack us: but that is unlikely. Then the better target is Voronezh.”

“Sirs, a word please” a slightly familiar General stood up.

“May I ask you, why do we need to destroy the enemy through means of attack?” Markov finally remembered him. General Danilov: the General-Quartermaster in the first two years of the Great War. He recently joined the army.

“All that has been noticed by myself is an outlook from the tactical perspective. I would like to offer a staff outlook: firstly we are before the problem of being unable to progress in enemy territory because of the forces against us. Do we need to DESTROY them or ELIMINATE them? If we need to eliminate them, then it is enough for us to cut those 50000 from supplies. I here hold a list of supplies that entered Kharkov during the last 3 months(he places before the Generals a chart based upon intelligence reports):

Time Supplies Received(from interior regions) Supplies sent(to troops by the city) Difference between received and sent

Late January 50 117 -67
Early February 106 67 39
Late February(Time of arrival of two more corps) 227 197 30
Early March 372 404 -32
Late March 293 250 43
Early April 234 199 -35

As we could observe, the average consumption of the troops by Kharkov of supplies is about 200 supplies every half a month. From the intelligence we know that the troops there have 3 supply wagons, holding enough supplies for about 1 turn. The troops themselves have supplies for two turns. If we accept the plan of General Markov, with slight modifications, the enemy will have one turn to stay on their initial position after which they will be obligated to retreat due to the depletion of supplies. There are of course two factors not taken in mind: the production of supplies in and the current supply stocks in Kharkov depot. I suspect Kharkov depot to hold enough supplies for no more than 3 turns, while the production is too small to supply the 50000 horde in the area. Thus, the enemy will not be capable of remaining in the initial position for long, and will be forced to either retreat or succumb to hunger. If he succumbs to hunger, we destroy an enemy force of at least 50000 men at no cost to us, while if they retreat we earn ourselves Kharkov.”

“We could also make a “dummy escape route” for the Reds.” Markov returns to the discussion with blazing eyes. “If we were to capture Belgorod and Kupiansk, the only Red escape route to Voronezh would lie near our railroad. We could at first make the passage seem open, and quickly block that route two weeks after a operational encirclement is established using trains. The enemy will probably attempt to make a breakthrough via it, and then he will meet with our troops that would be sent to block the escape route. “

“I must warn you, our plan can only work if the weather favours us. Otherwise, Voronezh is the only option.” Remarked General Danilov.

“Now let us turn to a reserve possibility of capturing Voronezh, sirs.” General Denikin’s voice said.
“A possible option. If cavalry will take Utkino in the rear of Voronezh, that would detach the troops there from the rest of Russia. The Cossacks and Shock troops could then deploy in good positions and attack the Reds. The current Red commander there is not capable of properly commanding such a force. The main downside is the high chance of the Reds escaping to Tambov.”

“This is correctable by partisans that can destroy the railroads to Tambov.”

“Sirs, I must remark that the effects of a successful offensive on Tambov are easily made inexistent. The Tambov force can block the road through Ryazan, while an army in Kursk can block the road through Orel. We then appear between a mallet and an anvil: not strong enough to go in either direction. We could of course eventually overcome the resistance, but the battle will be difficult. I remain more in favour of an operation in the direction of Kharkov.” Said General Danilov

“It seems we have arrived to the conclusion that if the weather permits we make an operation on Kharkov, if not then on Voronezh. The code names for the operation by Kharkov will be code named Samsonov while by Voronezh Rennenkampf * Concluded General Denikin.
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Sun May 13, 2012 10:21 pm

Operation Samsonov(Spring-Summer 1919):

White cavalry took Belgorod in the rear of Gai-Khan’s troops. White infantry took position at its’ flank, in Kupiansk. The French-Greek Corps hurried east, to lock the Reds from the west but they needed more time to arrive to their destination. The railroad to Kharkov was cut off and the troops of Gai-Khan were in a grave situation, in both meanings. They could now only rely upon the supplies in Kharkov and the supply trains that would break the blockade. After demonstrating the encircled situation to the Reds, the staff supposed the Reds would retreat in the direction of Voronezh, so Denikin’s elite 4 divisions divided in two stacks(the Army itself and Kutepov’s corps) blocked the road to Voronezh to prevent this.

But found themselves in an amusing situation: Kutepov’s corps took position where it should, blocking the railroad and hoping to meet the red retreat. And in a matter of days, a Bolshevik stack under command of Antonov-Ovseenko arrived to the same region. A battle did not occur, since Kutepov was in a defensive stance and a dilemma stood before Denikin: to attack immediately or first concentrate and then attack? Antonov-Ovseenko had 3 corps in his stack valued at 233,304 and 413 units of power(950 overall). Kutepov had about 1200. Denikin decided not to risk and to concentrate first. But the Reds didn’t waste time either, transferring the army by Voronezh under command of Makhin to support Antonov-Ovseenko. Thus, the ideas of attack were called off, and Denikin remained where he was. But just to the south, the situation became stormy for the Whites. Stalin transferred his army from the railroad between Tsaritsyn and Novocherkassk and cut off from the rear the army of Denikin. Against him stood two corps, Sidorin’s garrisoning Novocherkassk having about 720 in power and Denisov, occupying Rostov with 306 in power. Sidorin had the White army armored trains which were planned to be used as mobile supply stocks in the upcoming offensive. Their loss could have put a large cross over the plans to reach Moscow. Denikin was of no help, he was too far away. The Whites decided to wait to see how the situation progresses.

But fortunately, all Stalin did was send supply trains to Kharkov. The intelligence in Kharkov reported that the supplies were not given out from the city stocks. All that the Whites now needed was time, and the army of Gai-Khan would become another victim murdered by hunger. The French never joined the troops encircling Kharkov, the mutinies prevented them from taking the west. The remains of the destroyed Northwestern army, in the form of two cavalry regiments covered the Northwest from where supply trains from Kursk could come. But their success was limited, since their number was too small. Rainy weather covered the ground with mud which limited the movement abilities of the Red troops. Seeing this, the corps of Mai-Maievskiy left Kupiansk to reinforce the cavalry by Belgorod. T

he Reds first transferred the troops from Kursk to the north of Belgorod, making Bogaevskiy worry and prepare for a breakthrough, but then returned to Kursk. The whites waited, hoping for bad weather to occur as long as possible, to make the Reds suffer from their limited provision stocks. By the end of June, the two cavalry regiments which last remains of the Northwestern army were destroyed by Antonov Ovseenko who travelled from the road between Novocherkassk and Voronezh to the North of Kharkov. The troops from Kursk followed, taking position North of Belgorod. Now the troops that were in Belgorod were in a semi-circle of enemy troops. Denikin hurried to take position in Belgorod, ready to attack the Reds in the following turn if they will not do so themselves. But the Reds were simply covering the retreat route, and the next turn Kharkov was found abandoned. It was Late July. General Danilov was wrong: only 2.5 months of siege were needed to force the Reds to abandon Kharkov.
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Sun May 13, 2012 11:13 pm

Operation Samsonov(Spring-Summer 1919):
White cavalry took Belgorod in the rear of Gai-Khan’s troops. White infantry took position at its’ flank, in Kupiansk. The French-Greek Corps hurried east, to lock the Reds from the west but they needed more time to arrive to their destination. The railroad to Kharkov was cut off and the troops of Gai-Khan were in a grave situation, in both meanings. They could now only rely upon the supplies in Kharkov and the supply trains that would break the blockade. After demonstrating the encircled situation to the Reds, the staff supposed the Reds would retreat in the direction of Voronezh, so Denikin’s elite 4 divisions divided in two stacks(the Army itself and Kutepov’s corps) blocked the road to Voronezh to prevent this.

But found themselves in an amusing situation: Kutepov’s corps took position where it should, blocking the railroad and hoping to meet the red retreat. And in a matter of days, a Bolshevik stack under command of Antonov-Ovseenko arrived to the same region. A battle did not occur, since Kutepov was in a defensive stance and a dilemma stood before Denikin: to attack immediately or first concentrate and then attack? Antonov-Ovseenko had 3 corps in his stack valued at 233,304 and 413 units of power(950 overall). Kutepov had about 1200. Denikin decided not to risk and to concentrate first. But the Reds didn’t waste time either, transferring the army by Voronezh under command of Makhin to support Antonov-Ovseenko. Thus, the ideas of attack were called off, and Denikin remained where he was. But just to the south, the situation became stormy for the Whites.

Stalin transferred his army from the railroad between Tsaritsyn and Novocherkassk and cut off from the rear the army of Denikin. Against him stood two corps, Sidorin’s garrisoning Novocherkassk having about 720 in power and Denisov, occupying Rostov with 306 in power. Sidorin had the White army armored trains which were planned to be used as mobile supply stocks in the upcoming offensive. Their loss could have put a large cross over the plans to reach Moscow. Denikin was of no help, he was too far away. The Whites decided to wait to see how the situation progresses. But fortunately, all Stalin did was send supply trains to Kharkov. The intelligence in Kharkov reported that the supplies were not given out from the city stocks. All that the Whites now needed was time, and the army of Gai-Khan would become another victim murdered by hunger. The French never joined the troops encircling Kharkov, the mutinies prevented them from taking the west. The remains of the destroyed Northwestern army, in the form of two cavalry regiments covered the Northwest from where supply trains from Kursk could come. But their success was limited, since their number was too small. Rainy weather covered the ground with mud which limited the movement abilities of the Red troops. Seeing this, the corps of Mai-Maievskiy left Kupiansk to reinforce the cavalry by Belgorod. The Reds first transferred the troops from Kursk to the north of Belgorod, making Bogaevskiy worry and prepare for a breakthrough, but then returned to Kursk. The whites waited, hoping for bad weather to occur as long as possible, to make the Reds suffer from their limited provision stocks.

By the end of June, the two cavalry regiments which last remains of the Northwestern army were destroyed by Antonov Ovseenko who travelled from the road between Novocherkassk and Voronezh to the North of Kharkov. The troops from Kursk followed, taking position North of Belgorod. Now the troops that were in Belgorod were in a semi-circle of enemy troops. Denikin hurried to take position in Belgorod, ready to attack the Reds in the following turn if they will not do so themselves. But the Reds were simply covering the retreat route, and the next turn Kharkov was found abandoned. It was Late July. General Danilov was wrong: only 2.5 months of siege were needed to force the Reds to abandon Kharkov.
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Sun May 13, 2012 11:15 pm

Operation Rennenkampf(Now from the standpoint of a player)

The Southern Whites must continue to march to Moscow. But no roads to it are unprotected by the Reds. The staff decides to continue the summer offensive with Operation Rennenkampf. The plan was to encircle and destroy the troops by Voronezh consisting of 4 Red corps under command of Makhin. The cavalry corps of Bogaevskiy would cut Voronezh from the railroads to the North, while Denikin would take position west. The French retreated west to protect Kiev. Mai-Maievskiy was left to protect Kharkov. Once August began, the Reds in Voronezh found themselves encircled by Denikin and Bogaevskiy. Denikin was ordered to attack the Reds next turn. He alone had 60000 men in four divisions with 2 tank units incorporated that would partially decrease the Red advantage in entrenchment. A war game was conducted by the staff, to show the chances of the Whites to win this battle(1). And the army of Denikin finally received the order to move in Voronezh in offensive posture.

The result? no action.(2) I asked the turn to be replayed, and OneArmedMexican graciously allowed this. Still: no battle. Even after the examination of the log report by experienced OneArmedMexican, the reason of this remains unknown.Denikin entered Voronezh but did not attack.

On the second turn: Bogaevskiy cavalry corps attacked the enemy and a battle occurred resulting in… the defeat of the White army. After losing one division(of three regular cavalry units plus one horse artillery unit), from the side of the whites, the army of Denikin and corps of Bogaevskiy retreated in panic, despite having Denikin’s 4 divisions barely touched by the Red fire and most of the other troops still able to continue fighting. But this is not all. The battle report said I lost an elite cavalry regiment. Yet, once I checked: all elite cavalry was still in place. Amusing is it not? The battle screen does not have the right information. But even this is not the end of it: the Siberians also had technical difficulties of similar sort on their battleline: for example they as well had their army retreat from the battle, even though being in full capability to continue it, after losing one division.

Battle of Voronezh.JPG


And this was just one of the numerous unexplainable events that occurred on their front. DarkGarry, the commander of the Siberians, will probably explain a bit more in detail, whereas I will focus on my side. Denikin retreats west, Bogaevskiy east. And Denikin gets attacked by Gai-Khan, hurrying to take the abandoned region west of Voronezh. Denikin despite being in a passive posture, inflicts great damage and forces the Reds to retreat. Overall result of the turn: Reds lose about 45000 men, I lose about 39000 men. Drozdovskiy now could be promoted. Operation Rennenkampf ends in a disaster for the Whites.

Battle of Voronezh.JPG


1. I made an imitation of the battle by gathering a similar number of troops from both sides, with a few downsides though, such as the whites lacked tanks and had the same amount of troops spread out in more divisions, and the division commanders were not as talented. End result was the whites were victorious in almost all cases.
Attachments
Battle of Chernyanka.JPG
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Conclusion:

Sun May 13, 2012 11:17 pm

At this point of the game(Early September, 1919) I find the Reds under the guidance of OneArmedMexican are victorious in the 1919 campaign. Whites are still capable of fighting yet they probably have finished their offensive for 1919. I hoped that the game will continue, but it seems after a month has passed all have forgotten the situation, thus a new game is more probable.

I wish to thank DarkGarry and OneArmedMexican for their game, especially OneArmedMexican for his lenience, understanding and profound explanations on how the game engine works. Another thank you goes to Durk, who hosted our game, he truly exceeded all expectations as a host being reliable and ready to respond in case of technical difficulty. In case anyone needs a host, I am ready to recommend Durk for this role.

Statistics:
Southern Whites: 85727 men lost in battle, 112 National Morale points
Siberian Whites: 211143 men lost in battle, 45 NM points
Reds: 231566 men lost in battle, 134 NM points.
Comments are appreciated, for this was my first AAR. Thank you!
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