Across the Dnepr is a new campaign scenario for the Korsun Pocket game. It recreates the events of July 1941, when Operation Barbarossa was in full swing and German armies were poised to enter the heartland of Russia. Army Group Center is aimed at the vital objective of Smolensk, located on the Dnepr river and defending the shortest route to Moscow.
Although their frontier armies had been overwhelmed, the Red Army was far from finished. Remnant forces kept fighting and new formations arrived on the battlefield, ordered to make immediate, if somewhat suicidal, counterattacks. The result is a swirling melee as the two armies clash head on, and notions of flank security are abandoned in a desperate fight for survival.
Each Russian casualty, whether man or machine, can ultimately be replaced from Russia's vast reserve, reserves the Germans simply don't have. Each day that the Germans are delayed at Smolensk is another day purchased for the defence of Moscow and the rest of Russia.
- 28 day campaign length scenario
- Huge battlefield with superb map graphics
- Special rules for Soviet entrenchment
- Improved AI scripting
- 117 Soviet divisions confront 35 German divisions
Across the Dnepr is available via download only. Check out http://www.matrixgames.com for purchase details.
Across the Dnepr requires V1.1 or later of Korsun Pocket to play.
At the time that Across the Dnepr starts, German morale is very high. The initial attacks have yielded stunning successes, with Russian formations brushed aside and often herded into large pockets, yielding gratifying numbers of prisoners, and huge amounts of captured weapons and other war material.
Yet to be fully realised are the strain that even these early victories have put on the German war machine. Some Russian units have defended stubbornly, others have attempted break-outs from pockets or counterattacked. The terrain itself and the primitive nature of Russian infrastructure also conspired to aid the defender.
Also just becoming clear to the Germans was the sheer size of the Red Army, almost twice the size of optomistic pre-war estimates. Yet none of these factors could disguise the fact that the Wehrmacht formations were operationally far superior to the Red Army defenders, and that Smolensk was doomed to fall. The issue in dispute was the price that Germans would have to pay for its capture, and they time they would have to take to achieve it.
By the 9 th of July, (when the Across the Dnepr scenario starts) 2 nd Panzer Army was poised to cross the Dnepr and 3 rd Panzer Army was aimed at what remained of the defences along the Dvina. Soviet defenders at Vitebsk were beaten to the punch and despite desperate defence it fell quickly. By the 11 th , Guderian's 2 nd Panzer Army had forced its way Across the Dnepr and the way to Smolensk lay open.
The speed of the German attacks, and confusion and sluggishness of the Soviet response had created the usual pockets, at Mogilev, Vitebsk and elsewhere. By the 16 th July 3 rd Panzer Armee had taken Smolensk from the north, and 2 nd Panzer Armee arrived from the south on the 17 th . This pincer move had pocketed over a dozen Soviet divisions between Orsha and Smolensk, but as the German infantry had not caught up with the armour, the encirclement was tenuous, and Soviet formations were able to infiltrate their way out.
The escape of some Soviet formations set off a debate and disagreement in the German High Command in which a simple question resonated through all levels of military operations. Should German armour be used for continuos penetration and disruption of Soviet defences, aiming to cover as much ground as possible, or should it be diverted to ensure encirclement and defeat of as many Russian units as possible, and the speedy capture of important cities and economic resources?
The capture of Smolensk had not resolved the battle. Fresh Soviet formations maintained continuous pressure on the flanks of 2 nd Panzer Army, and inflicted serious losses on the 10 th Panzer Division on 24 th July. The Smolensk and Mogilev pockets were still active, the Mogilev pocket not falling till the 27 th of July and the Smolensk pocket holding out until the 5 th of August.