Kharkov Soviet OOB

Discussion relating to Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets

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Kharkov Soviet OOB

Postby Talos » Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:45 pm

As noted in another post i have started reading Glantz's trilogy on Stalingrad (volume 1, volume 2 is due out in October/November). It covers the Kharkov battle and one of the things i noted in it was the allocation of the Rifle Divisions to various Soviet HQ's for the battle, and where there is a difference in the game. 6h Army was supposed to have 8 RD's and Army Group Bobkin 2 RD's, (in the game its 6 and 4 respectively) just curious on where you sourced your OOB information, or was it based on a game balance decision?
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Postby Abwehr » Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:51 am

I can't seem to find a scenario where a formation has more than 8 sub-units. As 8 Rifle Divisions would bring 6th Army's total to 10, it might not be possible in the engine.

Now that we're talking about possible errors in the scenario, I'll jump in. Normally, I don't think there's a need to talk about every possible error as compiling terrain and OOB information covering the period is often tricky.

Based on Ziemke and Bauer's Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East, there are however I few things I could note.

For starters, the authors call the commander of the Soviet 6th Army Gorodnyanskov.

According to the authors, 6th Army and Bobkin Group combined had, at the beginning of the attack, 10 Rifle Divisions, 3 Cavalry Divisions, 11 Tank Brigades and 2 Motorized Rifle Brigades.

For the battle, 10 Rifle Divisions, 26 Tank Brigades and 10 Artillery Regiments were moved in from the reserves. The Soviets have 28 Tank Brigades in the scenario, and a battalion. It does seem that the Tank Brigade total is correct, for reasons explained later on in this post.

For the first stage, 560 tanks were available to Timoshenko. Another 269 were available for the second stage. Those 829 tanks would be spread out at about 29 tanks/brigade, but that figure is incorrect by default as it doesn't seem that any of the non-frontline tank strength is included in that estimate of 829 tanks. The 269 tanks seem to be in the two Mechanized Corps belonging to South-west Front.

However, the independent tank brigade belonging to Southwest Front supposedly contained a hundred (!) tanks, about the strength of a full strength Panzer division and less than half of the strength of a full strength Mechanized or Tank Corps.

Let's just assume that, as Southwest and South Front were at about 80% combat strength, there were between 30 or 40 tanks per brigade on average. At about 13 Tank Brigades opposing the German 6th Army, that would mean that the German estimates of being engaged by over 300 tanks would be correct.

The Soviet 6th Army was composed of 8 Rifle Divisions, 4 tank brigades and 14 artillery regiments.

Bobkin's group included 2 Rifle Divisions, a Cavalry Corps (with 3 divisions) and a tank brigade.

Southwest Front reserves included a Cavalry Corps, 2 Rifle Divisions and a Tank Brigade at the start of the battle.

South Front's reserve included a Tank Corps and 7 Rifle Divisions.

On the 17th of May, Stavka released 2 Tank Brigades (26+2=28 ) and 2 Rifle Divisions from its reserves.

3th Motorized Corps is called 3rd Panzer Corps.

The 23rd Tank Corps moved to counterattack near Barvenkovo when Fredericus started. The Soviet player can't move the Tank Corps east until Izyum is captured.

One of the major initial skirmishes was fought in Ternovaya, a place which isn't on the map, on the road between Volchansk and Kharkov, which also isn't on the map.

There was a railroad going from Kupyansk to Belgorod, which isn't on the map.

There was a road between Lozovaya and Izyum. The road seems to be too far to the north currently.

The maps contained in the book don't seem to contain every railroad (the railroad between Kharkov and Kupyansk through Chuguyev is missing for example, even though Chuguyev was a stop on a railroad since the 19th century), and most certainly not every road is depicted. It seems the maps depict mostly the major (rail)roads.

As to comparing maps: the Kharkov 1943 for Battles in Italy map is different from the Kharkov 1942 map.
Last edited by Abwehr on Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Abwehr » Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:57 am

SSG, a response?
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Postby troutie » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:40 pm

6th Army and Army Group Bobkin OBs.
The wiring diagram restrictions put a maximum of 6 division-sized units in a particular formation. So, the decision here was whether to sub-divide the 6th Army into 2 formations or place the 2 southernmost divisions into Army Group Bobkin which operated in close conjunction with 6th Army, or at least was supposed to.
At this stage of the war, STAVKA had abandoned the use of infantry corps so their was no convenient way to subordiante those 2 extra divisions.
Hope that answers your question.
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Postby Talos » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:54 pm

troutie wrote:6th Army and Army Group Bobkin OBs.
The wiring diagram restrictions put a maximum of 6 division-sized units in a particular formation. So, the decision here was whether to sub-divide the 6th Army into 2 formations or place the 2 southernmost divisions into Army Group Bobkin which operated in close conjunction with 6th Army, or at least was supposed to.
At this stage of the war, STAVKA had abandoned the use of infantry corps so their was no convenient way to subordiante those 2 extra divisions.
Hope that answers your question.


Thanks Troutie it does.
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