Even German generals must have their off days, and this was a strangely passive effort by General Keating. He states flatly that a direct assault on SMOLENSK is out of the question, as there are simply too may defenders. I’m not sure that this will go down well in the fuehrer bunker. Keating is still pushing ahead NE of SMOLENSK (see below). I predict that the lone Panzer Grenadier regiment circled on the map is big trouble. It is almost surrounded by Russian units already, and while they are probably in a wretched state, there are surely enough of them, plus the ubiquitous Russian artillery, to make life very difficult for the lone German unit.
Keating is also avoiding a direct assault on MOGILEV, (see below). He is across the river to the north, but it will still take several days to surround the city at this rate, especially as there are no armoured divisions in the right place. However, the local supply dump runs out this turn, so the Russians might elect to take their men and run, especially as they have held out for much longer than could reasonably have been expected.
In another dangerously frank communication Comrade General Trout accuses himself of making a mistake, without the formality of a visit to the Lubyanka Prison first. Perhaps this is just another cunning plan to confuse the NKVD, who surely are ill equipped to deal with admission freely given with the requisite application of ‘special methods’. Whatever the reason, the Panzer grenadier regiment marked for destruction escaped its fate (see below). Elsewhere, Trout abandoned MOGILEV and is now in full retreat in the south. Somewhat in passing, he also accuses the German commander of cowardice for failing to assault the valiant defenders of SMOLENSK.