General Keating is looking forward to finally taking SMOLENSK. The city is almost surrounded, and it’s defenders are definite doomed. The Germans are adjacent to YARTSEVO but further north are still slugging through some atrocious terrain, without much prospect of a breakthrough.
South of the Dnepr, German prospects look brighter. The Russians have been in continuous retreat since abandoning MOGILEV and ORSHA, their casualties are starting to mount and supply difficulties are starting to show up (see above). This sector might be Keating’s last chance for an impressive showing.
Unfortunately, Comrade General Trout is absolutely determined to spoil Keating’s day, if not his entire war. Trout kills four German units, surely a Soviet record for a single Front in a single day. Firstly, a Soviet units, including a Supply Truck, are sprung from encirclement by a counterattack, which also succeeds in killing the Panzer regiment from the 4th Panzer Division (see below).
Next, the almost encircled Rats of Smolensk reach out and kill another impetuous Recon unit (see below). For the next two successes we can actually quote again from General Trout’s own words.
An infantry regiment from the 26 XX is rubbed out south of Smolensk while another recon bn, this one from the 102 XX, dies hard near Yartsevo. Local Soviet commanders showed great presence of mind in the last attack. The overrun odds were reduced to the highest non-overrun column, giving a 2/3 chance of casualty without a retreat. These troops then retired, allowing fresh attackers to take their place who duly sent the invaders to the big hex in the sky.
With combat sneakiness of the highest order, it’s no wonder that Trout
is hard to beat.