Enclosed is my variant of Operation Uranus and the subsequent Chir River Battles and Winter Storm (Nov19 to Dec23). The scenario is ready for testing and is designed for HTH.
The Chir-River battles, and what are they? By November 23rd, the 6th Army was encircled as Russian forces linked up at Kalach occupying both sides of the Don River. The Chir river lay just to the south and was host to numerous engagements as the Russian Army pressed south hoping to cut off more Axis troops on the steppe and in the Caucasus. Ad-hoc formations were raised from anything local officers could find or confiscate. Actual movie films were setup at choke points where men gathered, only to be a ploy by officers who in turn placed those men into fighting units. These men would fight not knowing a thing about the man next to him. Fuel points were setup that attracted vehicles only be conscripted to help support these new units. These Alarm Battalions would also be shipped in from all major depot areas nearby, from Kharkov down to Rostov and everywhere in between.
It is difficult to fully set up these units, given the fluidity in which these small units came and went. I focused on mostly Alarm-Battalions brought in the from the outside and organized them into a few well distinguished HQ units. I tried to avoid creating ad-hoc units that used soldiers withdrawing from the areas of the initial Russian Offensive, and I did not create KG units that also incorporated units already established on the map.
These ad-hoc units would hold the river line, which would become the front line, buying time until regular army divisions arrived, and helped to free up what forces could be spared for Winter Storm. Part of the goal was to utilize more of the map, to create tension elsewhere than just at Stalingrad. And since everything is still historically sound, why not.
As usual, I’m always looking for the most concrete historical information I can find. And since I do not have all the resources known to man, my door is always open to corrections and new tid-bits of information.
1) One of the aspects I looked paid closer attention to was that of division strength. The Sixth Army, even on November 19, was really a shell of itself. The divisions in Stalingrad itself were barely combat worthy. So depleted was available manpower that their last offensive to capture Stalingrad (Nov 12-18?) was spearheaded by groups of Engineer units gathered near and from afar. By November 18 these engineer units were exhausted and depleted, as well as the remaining infantry used to support them. The soviets fare little better in the demolished city, their only reprieve came with the start of operation Uranus and the diverting of German attention away from the City. Additionally, the Romanians were in not much better shape after months of battles and skirmishes. Only to further hamper themselves by their own insistence on building up an Army Group.
2) Most are familiar with the reduced strength or over-strength symbol (-) or (--) or (+). I am adjusting how I implement the strength of Russian Rifle divisions. Most rifle divisions will now have a strength based on their divisional strength at the time. While this was manually adjusted in scenarios, often there were no visual cues to indicate it or answer why one unit had a different strength than another. I hope this helps in that regard. It is organized in this pattern:
Rifle Division 1942 (in game infantry reference on the unit card would be Rifle42) Rifle42 assumes the division is at full strength, therefore each battalion will be at full strength. Reduced divisions will have something like Rifle42(10k), Rifle42(8k), Rifle42(6k) etc, signifying the overall strength in men the division had at the time, and its battalions reduced accordingly. This structure is being implemented in all of my EF scenarios.
3) Some unit adjustments and additions:
KG Simon: Applicable units added to scenario in area near 1st Romanian Arm-Div.
14th Pz-Div: majority of unit shifted west of the Don River and is in a very depleted state.
Stug-Abt.203: Removed from the scenario as records indicate participation only after Dec23.
1st RO Arm-Div: French tanks removed, replaced with the Pz-35(t)
22 Pz-Div: Many tanks replaced with the Pz-38(t) tanks
Numerous Alarm-Battalions and KG HQ units added. These are not a serious offensive threat.
How the scenario is setup: Victory locations are setup to cover all objectives of the time period. The players must choose the priority locations for their forces and the battle can become fluid.
Victory Locations: currently 47
Russian Major Victory: Occupy 31+ (German Major Defeat)
Russian Minor Victory: Occupy 24+ (German Minor Defeat)
German Major Victory: Occupy 31+ (Russian Major Defeat)
German Minor Vicotry: Occupy 24+ (Russian Minor Defeat)
Alternative Indirect Fire Resolution
Alternative Assault Resolution
Plus, any other player preferred realism choices.
Trenches instead of Bunkers along the Romanian front.
Wired Bridges is implemented.
It is difficult for the Axis Player to achieve a major victory by vacating Stalingrad and the surrounding area.
Once Stalingrad is isolated, limited supplies are available through the airfields, be cautious of conducting continual attacks as soon your forces inside the pocket will become low on ammo/fuel.
There are a few inland supply sources. Safeguard these as best you can to keep supplies flowing. Losing these couple hamper operations in those areas.
Attacking Stalingrad itself isn’t a priority, victory can be had by simply encircling it, containing those forces and focusing on the Victory Locations along the Don River. However, one should never shy away from opportunities as they present themselves.
Occupying Axis supply sources that are located at various inland depot areas could potentially hamper their operational abilities, as well as allow you to collect some Victory Locations.
3) Speed is your friend. Deep penetrations early on will determine the flow of the campaign. Isolating Rumanian divisions early on will benefit you later in the scenario before German reinforcements arrive.
Included here are an updated compilation of the unit images needed to view on the unit cards. These can be applied to all my scenarios thus far.
Files are updated and placed on my amazon share drive. People can navigate all my files there and download those of their choosing.