WiTE: The Agony of Encirclement

There is a certain agony I feel every time I see an encircled army on a digital battlefield.  I imagine there is confusion, heavy loss of life, isolation and then surrender.  On the real battlefields of World War II, encirclement for the Germans late in the war meant a Gottedammerung of death and imprisonment.  The Soviet armies early in the war suffered the same fates.  

I would argue the most famous battle of the war in the east - Stalingrad - is famous in large part because of the drama of the 6th Army's encirclement and collapse not just because of the scale and casualties.

The German 4th Army (the blue thumb of units) with it's back up against the Dnepr.
I am currently on the third turn of Operation Bagration and working to extricate what I can of the 4th Army from the jaws of a very real Soviet bear of an offensive. I know nothing about this battle which makes my decision making "pure," as I am seeing the events unfold like the German commanders might have, not in response to what I know happened. I prefer that gaming situation more than the alternative of knowing something about the result, which is why I try not to read about things until after I game them.

On turn 1, 4th Army was almost encircled.  It is spent operationally and making its way slowly back to the Dnepr. I fear elements of the GE 9th army to the south will also be encircled.  Soviet armor units and endless corps' of determined infantry are flowing into the hole.  The hole in the line here feels like a giant vacuum.  Strategically there isn't a reserve, jut a few Panzer divisions placed behind the front lines.  As the German commander I am in such dire straits I am at a loss for what to do next.

More to follow...


As you do not have to deal with Adolf's stupidity I'd say try to salvage the best units. This is where I feel the scale is really limiting. Technically making a jump away from Ruskies shouldn't come that hard. But it's only 9 weeks which will not tell the whole story what would happen if you do withdraw your troops (the logistics of Red Army was terrible).
I played once 1943 campaign in TAOW against Human opponent and he withdrew his troops by hefty 300km. I was barely able to catch up and my front was in tatters for couple of weeks which gave him time to preper for local counterattacks. The scenario ended with a minor Germany victory. And I did not play bad. I just did not expect Germans to withdraw so far so quickly.
Chris said…
Hi Christopher. Thanks for the comment. Not having to contend with Hitler's strategic interference makes all the difference as the German commander. Will keep you posted on the next turns.