It seems as though General Keating is being forced to improvise, although he will probably maintain that he is just showing flexibility. Despite having a stack across the river, no attempt was made to expand the small bridgehead at DUBROVNO. Instead Keating’s attacks are focussed further along the river. He may try to cross at KRASNYA GORKA or he may just continue to drive along the northern bank of the river to SMOLENSK as shown below.
In Keating’s favour is the fact that there are very few Russians between him and SMOLENSK. The defenders that are there were just shipped in this turn, always a good sign for the attacker. Have the Russians unwisely neglected to guard the direct route, in order to mount their admittedly robust defences elsewhere on the battlefield?
In the south, Keating seems to have abandoned the attacks at SHKLOV in favour of direct assaults on MOGILEV. A direct assault on a properly defended Urban area is always chancy. US Army staff studies indicate that even the most overwhelming attack has only a 1/3 chance of forcing a retreat.
If the attack works early, then it looks like good generalship, while several failed attempts look bad, but in reality it’s just the luck of the draw that determines the outcome.
Comrade General Trout continues to keep his Pravda profile high with the almost routine destruction of another German unit, this one a Cavalry regiment near MOGILEV. Precariously exposed in a bend of the Dnepr, this unit was assaulted and forced to retreat across the Dnepr where it was trapped in the open and annihilated by further attacks and artillery. So while it is true that several German units have ‘crossed the Dnepr’ and while this may be good enough for Herr Goebbels’ propaganda machine, their subsequent fate is not inspiring.
In the north, near VELIZH, Trout continues to defend very strongly. While most Soviet units are forbidden to entrench, some are allowed this privilege, and some (like the NKVD) cannot be stopped from doing anything that they damn well like. Trout is using these units to stiffen his line (see below). The entrenched units prevent overruns, and are a sure sign that the Russian player is serious about defending that sector.