Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Next War - Operation Attila - D+3 (WP Land Move finished)

Hamburg Stalemate

Not having enough forces to assault 11th German Division defences in Hamburg, the bulk of 2nd Guards Tank Army stopped in front of the city, while one Soviet Division moved South of Elbe to continue the encirclement manoeuvre. Unfortunately, fanatic resistance by a German reserve regiment prevented any further advance.

In the 20th Guards Army area, 94th Guards Division destroyed 42/4 Dutch brigade and 9/3 German Brigade.
2nd and 20th Guards Armies positions at D+3, 18:00 Zulu Time

Final Movements in North Army Group Area

In the final hours of D+3, the rearguards divisions of 3rd Shock and 1st Guards Tank Armies moved forward, getting ready to attack at the following dawn.
3rd Shock Army positions at D+3, 18:00 Zulu Time

3rd Shock and 1st Guards Tank Armies positions, D+3 18:00 Zulu Time
1st Guards Tank Army positions, D+3 18:00 Zulu Time

At 18:00, May 6, 1980 (D+3), a cursory look at the strategic situation in Europe Central Front suggested a triumphant advance of Warsaw Pact's steamroller, with little or no chance for the West to stop it before the Rhine. NATO propaganda had a hard time trying to persuade the public opinion that despite the appearances the battle had just begun, particularly after years of insane declarations about the "forward defence" strategy in West Germany.
Overall situation at 18:00, D+3 Zulu Time
NATO corps are not outlined due to the blurred defence lines  

Actually, Warsaw Pact forces had several problems, and not all of them came with a handy solution.

  • The Air Force was in terrible shape and probably unable to contest NATO superiority for more than 2 days
  • Poland defection and Czech revolts subtracted at least 15 Division from available forces, leaving a weakened North Germany Front and forcing the other Fronts to overextend their assigned area
  • Most Armies only had two more days of supplies available, after which they would have to receive them using railroads and Front Supply Heads
  • Lines of communication and supply were fragile and only lightly defended, with several key bridges and crossing constantly hammered by NATO helicopters and airplanes
However, the second strategic echelon of Soviet forces was expected in East Germany starting from D+7. If Pact's forces were able to keep momentum for another few days, the almost continuous flow of second-line Divisions would solve most of the problems.

Friday, 21 March 2014

The Next War - Operation Attila - Timeline

Due to an error in days counting, I have revised and changed the overall timeline of the posts.

The (hopefully) exact timeline is now as follows:
April 29, 1980  D-4  turn 1, tension
April 30, 1980  D-3  turn 1, tension
May 1, 1980     D-2  turn 2, tension
May 2, 1980     D-1  turn 2, tension
May 3, 1980     D+0  turn 3, war begins, WP use chemical weapons
May 4, 1980     D+1  turn 3, war
May 5, 1980     D+2  turn 4, war, Hanover falls 
May 6, 1980     D+3  turn 4, war
May 7, 1980     D+4  turn 5, war, Munich and Nuremberg fall
May 8, 1980     D+5  turn 5, war, W. Germany troops evacuate Hamburg
May 9, 1980     D+6  turn 6, war, WP supply heavily damaged by air attacks
May 10, 1980    D+7  turn 6, war, NEDEFOR formed
May 11, 1980    D+8  turn 7, war, Netherlands Surrender, Denmark invaded
May 12, 1980    D+9  turn 7, war, NATO Operation "Hand of God" starts
May 13, 1980    D+10 turn 8, war, WP supply lines collapsed
                                  WP 2nd echelon troops arriving in W. Germany
May 14, 1980    D+11 turn 8, war, NATO SOUTHAG retreats 75 km
May 15, 1980    D+12 turn 9, war  Hamburg falls

I noticed the error while reading the New York Times from the first day of war:

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The Next War - Operation Attila - D+3 (2)

Warsaw Pact Land Movement continues. 
Losses are moderate until now, but the decreasing chemicals effectiveness is giving me some problems. Moreover, without the standard rules +2 modifier in Division vs. Brigade attacks, a well-placed NATO brigade can become a hard nut to crack.

Battle for Hanover

10 Guards Division assaulted frontally the city centre, destroying 4/16 Belgian brigade defending it.

20 Guards Army North pincer had heavy fighting with 8/3 German brigade, that held ground for almost 36 hours stopping 2 assaulting divisions before retreating inside Hanover. Two Czech divisions of the Army rushed in to exploit the breakthrough, but they were unable to complete the encirclement and destroy the Dutch SAM site West of the city.

3rd Shock Army South pincer was not lucky too, as 2/1 German brigade stopped its forward Division at Hameln.

The rest of 3rd Shock Army, with heavy artillery support, smashed BAOR defences around Bielefield / Herford, encircling two German brigades at Gutersloh airport.

3rd Shock and 20th Guards Armies situation

Rush to the Ruhr

1st Guards Tank Army continued moving toward the Rhine. 
1st British Recce Regiment, directly on its advance path, was hit by SSM delivered chemicals and subsequently surrounded and destroyed by 20th and 55th Guards Divisions.

The rest of the Army, even though unable to use the helicopter-ridden autobahn, moved West at double speed and reached the outskirts of the Ruhr. Its spearhead Division, 27th Guards, crossed Lippe river and stopped 30 km from the Rhine.

Inside the Ruhr urban area, the survivors of two Soviet airborne Divisions dispersed and fortified to better defend from the continuous air-to-ground attacks by NATO helicopters.
1st Guards Tank Army advance